Pakistan coach and selector Misbah-Ul-Haq had made a massive claim about Naseem Shah ahead of the Test series against England. Pakistan are all set to embark on its mission to win their first Test series in England against the hosts in more than a decade. And Misbah-Ul-Haq is confident that paceman Naseem Shah is capable of winning Test matches single-handedly.
Naseem Shah made his Test debut against Australia last November in Brisbane, but for all his efforts, he could bag only one wicket. The 17-year old impressed a month later, picking up his maiden five-wicket haul against Sri Lanka in Karachi and picking five more against Bangladesh this year in Rawalpindi. By snapping a fifer, he became the youngest bowler to snare a five-wicket haul in Test cricket.
Misbah-Ul-Haq recalled watching Naseem alongside Waqar Younis at the Gaddafi Stadium in Lahore. The former Pakistan captain conceded that he looked like tailormade for Test cricket and backed him to tour Australia even though he had not played any first-class game.
“Waqar Younis and I just saw him (Naseem Shah) in the Gaddafi Stadium and he just looked like a complete bowler and we decided that even though he hadn’t played first-class cricket he should go to Australia,” Misbah stated as quoted by Times Now.
Misbah further said that he translated his potential into evidence at the highest level by picking up a fifer and a hat-trick. Hence, he is entirely capable of winning Test matches on his own. So far, Naseem Shah has 13 wickets in four games at 26.84.
“By the time he arrived there, he had played four games and taken 17 wickets. We could see the potential but now we’ve got the evidence at international level; he’s already got a hat-trick and five-fers. He is one who could win a Test match on his own,” he added.
I want to be among the top three bowlers in the world: Naseem Shah
Naseem Shah, who leapfrogged four other pacers to make it to the 16-man squad for the first Test, remarked that the English batsmen need to take him seriously. The teen prodigy declared his intention to be amongst the best bowlers in the world and praised coach Waqar Younis for guiding him well.
“If they treat me like a small kid, it will be their big loss. Age doesn’t matter, it’s my bowling that matters, so they need to take me seriously. I want to be among the top three bowlers in the world. Our bowling coach Waqar Younis is guiding me well. I will try to increase my speed but my focus is also on my line and length,” the right-arm pacer told in a video conference in June.