Teenage sensation Naseem Shah received his maiden Test cap at The Gabba, Brisbane on Thursday. Shah got emotional as Pakistan’s bowling coach handed him the Test cap before the first Test of the two-Test series. The 16-year-old kissed the cap and then hugged his teammate Shaheen Afridi. The young fast bowler wiped off his tears as teammates congratulated him on his Test debut.
Shah was included in the playing eleven against Australia after his fiery spell at Perth against Australia A in the previous week. The pacer lost his mother while he was on the Australian tour. After consulting his family, he chose not to return home.
Shah is also the youngest player to play on Australian soil.
Against Australia A, Shah bowled a fiery spell which was lauded by many. Extracting extra bounce from the Perth wicket, Shah got the wicket of Marcus Harris. He tormented Usman Khawaja with short balls and almost got his wicket during the testing spell.
Before making his Test debut, Shah impressed with his performances in First-Class cricket as well. He has taken 27 wickets from seven matches including two five-wicket hauls at an average of 16.66.
Steven Smith was looking forward to playing the 16-year-old as he told AFP, “He’s half my age. It’ll be interesting … 16 is young.”
“I dare say you’d be pretty nervous at 16 playing a Test match, particularly away from home. He’s obviously got some skill if they’re picking him and you don’t take anyone lightly.
“For us, we’ll be trying to get as many overs into him as possible and trying to wear him down. He wouldn’t be used to bowling lots and lots of overs, so that’ll be the plan,” he concluded.