No player has made his T20I debut with so much success as Shadab Khan of Pakistan. The leg-spinner has picked up seven wickets in his first two T20 internationals and led Pakistan to victory in both matches against West Indies. He was handed his debut in March in the first T20 international in which he picked up three wickets for seven runs. He picked two wickets in his first over itself. The debut performance was no fluke as he led Pakistan to second straight win in the second match, picking up four wickets.
The 18-year-old had impressed one and all with his performance and before this the spinner had impressed coaches in the Pakistan Super League. Dean Jones and Wasim Akram, coaches of the Islamabad United, for which Shadab played, were impressed by him.
“The very first time Akram and I saw Shadab in the nets, we looked at each other and said, ‘this boy is pure gold’,” Jones told PakPassion. “He is an interesting player to coach and I have said this before as well, that for an 18-year-old-kid he has the head of a 30-year-old on him. He has pretty much hit the ground running and yes, he will get whacked a few times in his career but Pakistan have something special there.”
“He did come in with a few technical difficulties with his action and run-up, and we helped him with it during the PSL. We spoke with him about, and gave examples of Shane Warne, whom he admires a lot. We also mentioned the technique of Mushtaq Ahmed to him as well. Then we also brought up the name of Stuart MacGill to show him how all of these spinners got close to the crease,” he said.
Shadab’s success has been mainly because of his wrong’un which troubled the batsmen in West Indies and also in the PSL. Most batsmen failed to pick it up and were either bowled or struck on the pads.
— Saj Sadiq (@Saj_PakPassion) April 1, 2017
“We had to get him to straighten his run-up a bit to achieve this, we had to get him to train on special ‘dance’ steps to accustom himself to a straightened run-up. These were dance steps marked on the carpet of his hotel room so that he could practice before going to sleep and within a week or so, he was all set with this revised run-up and ready to go. He went from an Abdul Qadir type approach to the crease to a much straighter one now,” Jones added.