Abu Dhabi, UAEFriday 15 November 2019

Who are Pakistan's rookie fast bowlers Musa Khan and Naseem Shah?

Teenage quicks selected for tour of Australia after impressing management with pace and attitude

Pakistan chief selector and head coach Misbah-ul-Haq picked two rookie fast bowlers for next month's Australia tour. AP
Pakistan chief selector and head coach Misbah-ul-Haq picked two rookie fast bowlers for next month's Australia tour. AP

It’s all about change in Pakistan cricket at the moment. Be it team management, first-class cricket setup or national team captains, it’s all new.

But one thing never changes – Pakistan’s habit of picking raw, young fast bowlers for difficult tours. And given their track record of succeeding more often than not, you understand why.

On Monday, Pakistan continued that glorious tradition by picking rookie pacers Musa Khan and Naseem Shah for next month’s tour of Australia. Musa has been named in both the Test and T20 squads while Naseem has made it to the Test side.

Both quicks impressed chief selector and head coach Misbah-ul-Haq. “You have to have a surprise package if you want to compete against Australia in Australia and these two fast bowlers [Musa and Naseem] have a very good attitude toward fast bowling,” Misbah said.

Musa Khan

The right arm fast bowler is just 19 but has already made a name for himself at the international arena. The 2018 Under 19 World Cup was a mainly forgettable one for Pakistan but they found two quality cricketers for the long term – Shaheen Afridi and Musa.

Afridi has already established himself as an all-format, all condition fast bowler. Now, it is the turn of Musa to show what he is made of. The right arm quick has a round arm action and can crank it up to 90mph, as he did at the U19 World Cup.

He made his first-class debut last year and has impressed with his pace and ability to generate reverse swing.

Naseem Shah

The right-arm fast bowler is just 16 but is already making heads turn with his extreme pace and unique action. Naseem leans back more than usual in his delivery stride, which does help him generate pace and swing, but also puts a strain on his body.

The young quick has played five first-class matches, picking up 17 wickets. He only has three T20 matches under his belt, underling his rookie status. He must be really special to get the nod so early in his career and that too for a prestigious tour like that of Australia.

Updated: October 22, 2019 10:37 AM

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