Pakistan's teen star Shah tipped for the top as Test debut looms

By Sports Desk November 20, 2019

Pakistan captain Azhar Ali has high hopes for Naseem Shah as the 16-year-old prepares to make his Test debut against Australia.

Azhar praised the seamer's technical abilities and mental strength after the teenager suffered a personal tragedy following the recent death of his mother.

Although Pakistan's line-up for the clash at the Gabba is yet to be revealed, Azhar confirmed Naseem would be involved and he has high hopes for the youngster.

"Not many players can be at that standard so early but there are exceptions and he is one of them," said the skipper ahead of the two-match series. 

"And hopefully – we are all looking forward to it – he can have a very successful career.

"When I saw him first, I was so surprised. The control he had, the pace he had – and the temperament and the composure when he bowls is so exciting to see."

Naseem, who is will become the youngest male Test debutant on Australian soil, played in a warm-up match in the aftermath of his mother's passing and Azhar paid credit to his courage.

"Obviously, it was a hard time for him but he coped with it very nicely and he came out and bowled the very next day, which is very heartening," he said.

"He is opening up a little bit. Obviously, when he came in to first-class cricket, he was a bit shy but now he is starting to enjoy it."

Pakistan have not won a Test match in Australia since 1995 and have never triumphed in a series there in the longest format. 

Related items

  • Boucher rues 'big blow' of losing banned Rabada Boucher rues 'big blow' of losing banned Rabada

    Mark Boucher described losing Kagiso Rabada for the final Test against England as a "massive blow" and had mixed feelings over the suspension handed down to the South Africa quick.

    Rabada will miss the last match of the series at The Wanderers after being sanctioned for his reaction to dismissing Joe Root on day one of the third Test at St George's Park.

    The paceman roared in celebration after bowling the England captain and that resulted in him being found guilty of a level one breach of the ICC code of conduct.

    It earned Rabada a fourth demerit point in a two-year period, a tally that triggers a one-match ban.

    Boucher felt Rabada should have known better, but suggested the punishment was harsh after watching England take charge in Port Elizabeth by posting 499-9 declared before the Proteas were reduced to 60-2 in reply on Friday.

    "I think KG has a bit of a history, he probably shouldn't have done it, but it is what it is," said the South Africa head coach.

    "The level one is a slap on the wrists but unfortunately he's got too many demerit points. We played in days when bowlers used to swear at batsmen, you want to be nice and aggressive.

    "He didn't look at Joe Root, but it's about how you determine the laws. KG is best when he's nice and aggressive. We'll get him to run to square leg rather than the batter. But the laws are there and you have to abide by them.

    "I wasn't aware of all the demerit points [Rabada has] and how the whole system works, so to hear this morning he's going to be banned for the final Test is a massive blow for us.

    "He's a world-class performer, especially at The Wanderers, where I think he would be very effective."

    The former South Africa wicketkeeper-batsman added: "We spoke to the match referee [on Thursday] and we did voice our concerns over the rule and a couple of variations of the rule.

    "It's a tough one to gauge about excessive celebrations in the area of the batter and making contact with the batter.

    "I don't feel that he made any contact with the batter whatsoever. Yes, he was in his space, but the two put together there is probably different ways you can look at it. Bottom line is the match referee has made up his mind."

  • India level series as Australia fall short in Rajkot run chase India level series as Australia fall short in Rajkot run chase

    India avenged their Mumbai mauling with a 36-run defeat of Australia in the second ODI in Rajkot to level the series.

    The tourists had embarrassed India in the first match, cruising to a 10-wicket win with unbeaten centuries from David Warner and Aaron Finch.

    India posted a more challenging total of 340-6 on Friday, featuring 96 from Shikhar Dhawan, 80 from KL Rahul and Virat Kohli's 78, to give Australia a tricky chase and they fell short on 304 all out to set up a series decider in Bengaluru on Sunday.

    At 220-3 with more than 12 overs remaining, Australia were firmly in the hunt, but India's bowlers got on top and the tourists did not recover from losing Steve Smith, whose 98 was the fulcrum of their innings.

    Smith played on to give Kuldeep Yadav his second victim in the 38th over after dismissing Alex Carey to bring up 100 ODI career wickets.

    Warner had earlier been dismissed for just 15, flicking at a length ball from Mohammed Shami (3-77) outside off stump and caught spectacularly above his head by Manish Pandey at cover.

    Finch fell for 33 and Marnus Labuschagne made 46 in his first ODI knock, but Australia's hopes of a late flurry were savaged by Shami yorking Ashton Turner and Pat Cummins with the first two deliveries of the 44th over before Navdeep Saini and Jasprit Bumrah mopped up the tail.

    Dhawan and Rohit Sharma had earlier put on a run-a-ball 81 for India's first wicket, before the latter fell for 42, pegged lbw by leg-spinner Adam Zampa.

    Dhawan and Kohli kept the runs flowing, with their stand of 103 eventually broken when Dhawan, four short of an 18th ODI century and looking to reach three figures with one blow, was caught at fine leg by Mitchell Starc off Kane Richardson.

    India had collapsed from 134 for one to 255 all out in Mumbai, but this time it would be a different story.

    The classy Kohli scored at just over a run a ball before becoming the second of three victims for Zampa (3-50), before Rahul injected late pace into the scoring by plundering his 80 from 52 balls, clearing the ropes three times before being run out in the final over.

    A blow for India on an otherwise positive day came with Dhawan taking a blow to the ribs when batting that prevented him from fielding.

  • England withdraw declaration and bat on in bizarre scenes at Port Elizabeth England withdraw declaration and bat on in bizarre scenes at Port Elizabeth

    England skipper Joe Root prompted confusion and hilarity on day two of the third Test with South Africa as he withdrew a declaration after a wicket was ruled out due to a no-ball.

    When Mark Wood was caught at mid-on off Kagiso Rabada to seemingly leave England 467-9, Root called a halt to his side's first innings at Port Elizabeth.

    However, replays then showed Rabada had over-stepped, prompting Root to reverse his decision and instead advise his side to carry on batting.

    Wood and Ollie Pope, who had earlier completed his maiden Test century, made the most of the bizarre situation by plundering a further 31 runs - in addition to the run England received for Rabada's no-ball - in quick time.

    After racing to 42 from 23 balls, Wood eventually holed out to deep midwicket off Keshav Maharaj (5-180) and England declared on 499-9, with Pope 135 not out.

    Ben Stokes (120) had also reached three figures for the tourists prior to lunch as they kicked on superbly from an overnight score of 224-4.

© 2020 SportsMaxTV All Rights Reserved.