Naseem Shah, Pakistan’s newest fast bowling sensation, feels motivated when his teammates compare him with the legendary Australian tearaway fast bowler Dennis Lillee, the 17-year-old recently revealed in an interview with BBC.
Naseem Shah burst on the scene as a 16-year-old teenage sensation during Pakistan’s 2019 tour of Australia where he turned heads with his precocious pace but also due to the similarity in his action with the legendary Dennis Lillee.
Shah, who is currently featuring in the Test series against England, revealed that his teammates call him ‘Lillee Shah’. something that drives and motivated him to work harder.
”He’s such a big legend. I just do my natural bowling and a legend like that has worked so hard…The senior players all show so much love for me as I’m the youngest in the team. They (my teammates) call me ‘Lillee Shah’ this and it motivates me that they have so much faith in me,” Naseem Shah told BBC.
Naseem Shah has thus far impressed with his precocious talent in Test cricket
Naseem Shah has been working under the guidance of former Pakistan legend Waqar Younis, who is currently serving as the bowling coach of the national team. Shah revealed that his relationship with Younis is not just restricted to the game. In-fact the 17-year-old has been learning valuable life lessons from Waqar Younis.
Waqar Younis was the first person who had compared Naseem Shah with the great Dennis Lillee during Pakistan’s tour of Australia last winter.
”He’s very talented – and he’s smart. He’s got a very good action, he’s got good pace. He reminds me of Dennis Lillee actually. He’s got a very similar action. He’s not as big as Dennis – Dennis was a big guy – but when he gets it right, he’s a handful,” Waqar Younis had told AAP.
While Naseem Shah still has a long way to go as far as emulating Denis Lillee’s exploits in international cricket is concerned, the 17-year-old has impressed with his limited outings thus far. After claiming the prized scalp of David Warner as his maiden Test wicket, Shah scripted history in February 2020 when he became the youngest bowler in the history of the game to claim a Test match hat-trick. Naseem Shah achieved the feat against Bangladesh at the age of 16 years and 359 days. He is also youngest Pakistan fast bowler and second overall to claim five wickets in a Test innings- a feat he achieved against Sri Lanka earlier this year.