Legendary Sri Lankan batter Mahela Jayawardene on The ICC Review said that the emergence of teenage pacer Naseem Shah has been the biggest positive for Pakistan. He said that Naseem along with a fit-again Shaheen Shah Afridi is a game changer ahead of the ICC Men’s T20 World Cup 2022 in Australia next month.
Jayawardene feels that the Pakistani quicks, especially Naseem Shah and Shaheen Afridi, are match winners on any given day. The 19-year-old Shah bagged seven wickets at an economy of 7.66 in five matches during the Asia Cup in the UAE. Not only his bowling skills but his big-hitting abilities have also been praised, as he smashed two big sixes against Afghanistan that helped Pakistan win the match.
Jayawardena On The ICC Review:
“I’ve been following Naseem for a while now,” Jayawardena said on The ICC Review. “Obviously, they have used him a lot in red-ball cricket, in Test match cricket because of his pace. They did not back him too much with the accuracy with the white-ball format but lately, with a lot of cricket being played, he has come of age, and the control that he showed, especially with the new ball, picking up wickets, that’s the key element.”
“That Pakistan attack will look much stronger with Shaheen Afridi back as well, and the way Haris Rauf bowled. He bowled quickly. With the two youngsters, they’ve got a really, really good pace unit. And Naseem has been brilliant, I was really impressed by the way he went about things. The skills, especially bringing the ball back into the right-handers, the way he swung the ball with that kind of pace,” suggested Jayawardene.
“In Australian conditions, those guys will be a handful. Especially for quite a few opening batsmen, it will be a nightmare if Shaheen and Naseem bowl in tandem from both ends.”
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