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  1. #1
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    "I respect Virat Kohli, but I donít fear him" : Naseem Shah

    Regarded as one of Pakistan's most promising fast-bowling talents, Naseem Shah has impressed followers of the game around the world since his international debut at the age of 16. As if confirmation of his special talent was needed, the young pacer proceeded to become the youngest fast-bowler to take a 5-wicket haul in the Test series against Sri Lanka and achieved another milestone as he became the youngest bowler to take a Test hat-trick in the series against Bangladesh.

    Now looking forward to his first appearance in England, Naseem in an exclusive interview with PakPassion.net, spoke about the experience of playing international cricket at a young age, what he expects to learn from the likes of Jimmy Anderson, how he and Shaheen Shah Afridi wish to emulate the on-field partnership of Wasim Akram and Waqar Younis and why he is looking forward to bowling to Virat Kohli in the future.






    PakPassion.net: The last twelve months must feel like a dream?

    Naseem Shah:
    Definitely so and I do feel blessed that I have had the chance to play for my country at such a young age. It’s already been a roller-coaster ride with good days, bad days and some very sad times, but that is all part of life. At times I have to pinch myself and remind myself that I am already playing cricket for Pakistan. I really do feel very lucky and privileged to have been given the opportunities, the support and love I have had from some wonderful people around me.


    PakPassion.net: Your journey to cricket was not straight forward was it. I believe there was some opposition from your family members?

    Naseem Shah:
    Nothing in life comes easy. I come from a very humble background and my parents always taught me that hard work pays off and when you stop working hard, that’s when things go wrong. There were no cricket grounds near where I lived, and to pass the time I just played tape-ball cricket against the older guys who lived near me. But I was cricket-mad and couldn’t get cricket out of my mind at any time. Even in school during classes, I would be day-dreaming about bowling, thinking about bowling fast, thinking when is this lesson going to end, so that I can get out of here and go and play cricket. There was nobody in my family who played cricket or understood the game, so it was very difficult to convince my family that I wanted to pursue a career in cricket and that it was the right thing to do. My parents would deter me from playing cricket and would implore to me to study and forget about a career in cricket, but I didn’t listen to them and I was determined that I was going to follow my dream of playing cricket professionally.

    After much debate and convincing my family, I eventually came to Lahore and faced some tough days, some very difficult times where I thought my dream was going to be shattered and I would go home embarrassed and defeated. There were quite a few occasions where I thought my parents were right and my dream of playing cricket professionally was not going to happen. But I never lost heart, I never gave up, I kept going and eventually, my dream came true. Even at such a young age, I have learnt that you should never forget those difficult days, those tough times as they are the ones that will stand you in good stead for the future.


    PakPassion.net: Did you ever think that you would be playing cricket for your country at such a young age?

    Naseem Shah:
    I never thought for a minute that I would be proudly wearing the shirt of my country at such an early stage of my career. I have always had faith in my ability and feel that hard work always pays off in any aspect of your life. But having said that, I never thought I would be playing for Pakistan so quickly. But then I have always believed that whatever happens, happens for the best and the Almighty has been very kind to me.


    PakPassion.net: Some feel that you are not quite ready for the demands of international cricket and need to play more domestic cricket?

    Naseem Shah:
    I believe that if you are good enough, you are old enough. The biggest challenge for me is not about my bowling skills, rather it’s about getting my fitness levels up to the demands of international cricket. You can play Under-16, Under-19 or club cricket or even domestic cricket, but the demands of international cricket are on a totally different level and that is something I am learning quickly. I am improving my fitness levels all of the time and this is an aspect of my game that I need to make rapid strides in and not take lightly at all.


    PakPassion.net: What’s the best thing about bowling fast?

    Naseem Shah:
    Only a fast-bowler can understand the mindset of another fast-bowler. The thought-process of a fast-bowler is totally different from a batsman and I think we are an unpredictable but interesting group of people. Fast-bowlers are a unique bunch of people and they understand each other so well and what motivates us and what we dislike. Fast-bowlers know about the trials and tribulations and challenges of bowling fast and how tough it is. On those days when your rhythm is right, your body feels good, your run-up is smooth and the ball is just coming out nicely, you are on top of the world, there is no better feeling and the batting team had better watch out. I always wanted to be a fast-bowler and even in my school days, I loved to scare batsmen by bowling fast. I feel good when I see fear in the batsmen’s eyes, it motivates me to bowl even faster.


    PakPassion.net: Your body is obviously still growing and you are getting stronger. Do you feel that at some point in the future you could bowl even quicker?

    Naseem Shah:
    Absolutely, why not. But at the moment the priority is to improve my levels of fitness, stay fit and then I am sure I can look at cranking up the pace at some point. I’ve been given some specific training plans and I have been working hard on those during this break in cricket. I know I need to work on maintaining my line and length and adding consistency to my bowling and that will come with experience. But let’s be honest, whilst line and length are important, any fast-bowler will tell you that they get great enjoyment out of seeing the stumps flying and the batsmen ducking and looking uncomfortable against pace.


    PakPassion.net: Over the years, Pakistani bowlers have shown great promise only to disappear into the wilderness of domestic cricket. Are you confident that you are here for the long run?

    Naseem Shah:
    It’s impossible for me to predict what will happen in the future. But I can control what is in my hands and that is to work hard, stay focussed on cricket, improve my fitness, learn from the people around me, stay humble and committed and get stronger. The rest is in the hands of the Almighty. The hope is to stay clear of injuries, but that is not always in your control. If I can stay injury-free, then I am determined to have a long and successful cricket career.


    PakPassion.net: Wasim Akram and Waqar Younis formed a formidable partnership for Pakistan for many years. Already some are talking about your partnership with Shaheen Shah Afridi as one that could be as fruitful as the 2 Ws?

    Naseem Shah:
    Wasim Akram and Waqar Younis were legends, and we are just at the start of our respective careers, so it’s too early to start thinking of Shaheen and me as a bowling partnership that could be as good as them. The most important thing that Shaheen and I can learn from Wasim and Waqar is the amount of hard work they put in throughout their careers. Everyone keeps telling me that they weren’t just great bowlers, but also very hard-working and committed cricketers and that is something that Shaheen and I can take from them. I have also heard how Wasim and Waqar were great competitors and wanted to outdo each other on the field. Shaheen and I are like that too, we have a competitive edge and want to get more wickets than each other, which is a good thing for the team. It’s a friendly rivalry on the field and one that I hope will serve Pakistan for many years.


    PakPassion.net: You were injured early in your career, was that a concern and what did you learn from that serious injury?

    Naseem Shah:
    As I say, you learn more from the tough times, than the good times. I also learnt about how people soon forget about you in tough times, and how it’s better to have people around you who are there for the good and bad times and not just the good times. I lost nearly a year through that injury, it was horrible and one of the main learning points from it was to ensure that I am more careful with my body when bowling, instead of trying to bowl too fast every day. I also had to learn about patience as I was too keen to come back and play again, without ensuring that I was fully fit before making a comeback. For any cricketer to have to take a break from cricket due to injury is tough to take, especially one at the start of his career and it was a harsh lesson for me.


    PakPassion.net: How tough was the tour of Australia?

    Naseem Shah:
    I went there with high hopes and I was on cloud nine when I was selected, but events did not turn out the way I wanted them to. I had some clear goals in my mind for that tour, but things went wrong for a number of reasons. It was a tough time for me in terms of cricket and events outside of cricket. I was struggling to sleep and had to take sleeping tablets. My mother had dreamt of seeing me play for Pakistan, but she never saw that happen, which was tragic. I learnt a lot about cricket and about life on that tour and whilst it was very difficult, I tried to stay positive and will no doubt take forward what I learnt from the tour of Australia.


    PakPassion.net: How useful is it to have someone like Waqar Younis around you. Someone, who like you was a tearaway fast-bowler and like you someone who suffered from injuries early in his career?

    Naseem Shah:
    He’s a legend, a hero to many of us. He knows what the requirements are to succeed as a fast-bowler as he is someone who performed at the highest level and is highly respected around the world. He played all over the world, against the best players and when he shares his experiences it’s valuable advice for young bowlers like me. He is not just a coach, but a friend too, and his relationship with the bowlers is one where we feel that we can talk to him about anything and that is really important. I feel that I work best with a coach who doesn’t just talk to me about the technical aspects of cricket, but also about his experiences, his strengths, his mistakes and his weaknesses as a former player.


    PakPassion.net: There are a number of former players like Wasim Akram and Shoaib Akhtar speaking very highly of you. Does that create additional pressure?

    Naseem Shah:
    No, it doesn’t create additional pressure; in fact, I get really happy when these great bowlers mention me and praise me. When I hear or read their positive comments about me, I want to try even harder and prove to everyone that what they are saying is correct and not let them down. I’m not someone who gets big-headed or arrogant when I receive praise or compliments. In fact, it acts as an incentive and a motivation to improve further so that I can receive more compliments from them in the future.


    PakPassion.net: You’ve already broken a record, that of being the youngest bowler to take an international hat-trick. How did that feel and how special was that moment?

    Naseem Shah:
    It was incredible. The best thing about it was that it was in my home country and in front of my countrymen at Rawalpindi. I know Pakistan has been starved of international cricket for many years and in a way, I hope it was a special moment for fans who were at the ground. I wasn’t too happy with the way I had bowled in the first innings in that Test match against Bangladesh, and I wanted to make amends for it in the second innings and that hat-trick definitely made me feel better. I just hope it’s the first of many records I can break during my career, but above all, it meant that I had helped Pakistan towards victory.


    PakPassion.net: You are of course yet to play against India and Virat Kohli. That must be something you are looking forward to?

    Naseem Shah:
    Yes definitely. India versus Pakistan is always special and I have already been told that players can become heroes and villains in those matches. They are special matches as they happen so rarely and yes, I am looking forward to playing against India whenever that opportunity arises. I hope that I can bowl well against India when that chance comes by and won’t let our fans down. As for Virat Kohli, I respect him but don’t fear him. It’s always a challenge to bowl to the best, but that’s where you have to raise your game. I look forward to playing against Virat Kohli and India whenever that chance comes.
    Last edited by Abdullah719; 31st May 2020 at 17:16.



  2. #2
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    Level headed answers from the lad.
    The partnership of him and Shaheen for me are the most exciting thing from Pakistan cricket in a long long tıme

  3. #3
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    Quote Originally Posted by TurkishCricketFan View Post
    Level headed answers from the lad.
    The partnership of him and Shaheen for me are the most exciting thing from Pakistan cricket in a long long tıme
    Agreed. And have to say, they both seem like the smartest / most cricket savvy youngsters weíve had in a while. Both of them are teenagers but they understand the game well compared to the likes of Hasnain / Musa.

    Itís lucky then that our most promising bowlers are the smartest, or perhaps thatís why theyíre the most promising.

  4. #4
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    Sensible comments.

    This is the bit which I loved the most:

    ďI loved to scare batsmen by bowling fast. I feel good when I see fear in the batsmenís eyes, it motivates me to bowl even faster.Ē

    Naseem, you have a long career to go.

    Keep your head at the right place and reap the rewards!

  5. #5
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    Looks and sounds promising, he could be the next real legend bowler after a huge gap of Wasim and Waqar, hopefully he fulfills the promising start to his career

  6. #6
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    He seems to rate Steve Smith having seem him up close on tour
    It's a shame he won't be able to do the same with kohli

  7. #7
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    His main concern is to stay injury free - if he does that Inshallah he will become even better.


    For the latest updates on Cricket, follow @PakPassion on Twitter

  8. #8
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    seems to be a genuine young man. I'm just scared that he's going to be next in a long line of "what if" bowlers for pakistan

  9. #9
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    A pleasant and humble young man, let's hope he stays this way and doesn't head down the wrong path like others have over the years.

    He's very keen to do well, has that hunger and desire to succeed, again let's hope he stays this way.

    It's all about the company they keep and whether those friends keep them on the right path.

    Sometimes success comes too soon for these youngsters and they can't handle the fame and fortune.
    Last edited by Saj; 31st May 2020 at 22:56.



  10. #10
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    Pakistan’s teenage sensation has made the cricketing world sit up and take notice of his talent after he made his debut in Australia at just 16 years of age.

    Earlier this year, Shah became the youngest cricketer to pick an international hat-trick when he took achieved the feat against Bangladesh in Rawalpindi.

    Reflecting on his budding career, the speedster said that he is fearless and is looking forward to the challenges that lie ahead in his path.

    Among them is India’s Virat Kohli. While the youngster is yet to play against India and Virat Kohli, it is a prospect that Shah is looking forward to.

    “Yes definitely. India versus Pakistan is always special and I have already been told that players can become heroes and villains in those matches,” he told PakPassion.net.

    “They are special matches as they happen so rarely and yes, I am looking forward to playing against India whenever that opportunity arises.”

    “I hope that I can bowl well against India when that chance comes by and won’t let our fans down. As for Virat Kohli, I respect him but don’t fear him.”

    “It’s always a challenge to bowl to the best, but that’s where you have to raise your game. I look forward to playing against Virat Kohli and India whenever that chance comes,” he added.

    On his hattrick against Bangladesh, he said,” It was incredible. The best thing about it was that it was in my home country and in front of my countrymen at Rawalpindi.”

    “I know Pakistan has been starved of international cricket for many years and in a way, I hope it was a special moment for fans who were at the ground. I wasn’t too happy with the way I had bowled in the first innings in that Test match against Bangladesh, and I wanted to make amends for it in the second innings and that hat-trick definitely made me feel better.”

    “I just hope it’s the first of many records I can break during my career, but above all, it meant that I had helped Pakistan towards victory.”

    https://indianexpress.com/article/sp...-fear-6436256/


    For the latest updates on Cricket, follow @PakPassion on Twitter

  11. #11
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    Seems like a very sensible lad !

    Hoping PCB manage his workload because he's sustained serious injuries in the past. There's no need for him to be bowled into the ground playing meaningless bilateral limited overs series or even every single Test.

  12. #12
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    Kid, Kohli doesnít even know of your existence.

    All the best to him but I didnít see anything elite in him to say he will be world class. Obviously he can be improved a lot so good luck!

  13. #13
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    Virat Kohli is regarded as one of the best batsman in the world. Which is why Pakistan pacer Naseem Shah is eager to face the India captain. On 10th February 2020, the Pakistan teenager created a world record, when he took a hat-trick against Bangladesh in Rawalpindi, becoming the youngest bowler to do so trick in Test cricket at the age of 16 years and 359 days. And now, it seems the Pakistan youngster is waiting to face bigger challenges early in his career.

    In a recent interview with PakPassion.net, Shah talked about his career and said he is eagerly awaiting a contest against the Indian captain Virat Kohli. India-Pakistan are generally high-octane with a lot of emotions around the stadium. Shah has maintained that although he respects Kohli, he doesn’t fear him.

    “Yes definitely. India versus Pakistan is always special and I have already been told that players can become heroes and villains in those matches,” Shah said.

    “They are special matches as they happen so rarely and yes, I am looking forward to playing against India whenever that opportunity arises.”

    “I hope that I can bowl well against India when that chance comes by and won’t let our fans down. As for Virat Kohli, I respect him but don’t fear him.”

    “It’s always a challenge to bowl to the best, but that’s where you have to raise your game. I look forward to playing against Virat Kohli and India whenever that chance comes,” he added.

    Shah, overall, is the fourth Pakistan bowler to achieve a hat-trick, after Mohammad Sami, Abdul Razzaq, and Wasim Akram, who had achieved the feat twice in his legendary career.

    Naseem had burst onto the scene on Pakistan’s Australia tour last year and also became the youngest fast bowler and second bowler overall to take five wickets in a Test inning. He achieved that feat at the age of 16 years and 307 days against Sri Lanka in Karachi last year

    https://www.hindustantimes.com/crick...k65AbaMPN.html


    For the latest updates on Cricket, follow @PakPassion on Twitter

  14. #14
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    Pakistan's teenage pace sensation Naseem Shah said he is looking forward to bowl to Indian batsmen, saying he has been told players can become heroes or villains depending on their performances against the arch-rivals.

    Naseem Shah said India vs Pakistan matches are special and rare and that when an opportunity comes, he doesn't want to let Pakistan fans down.

    Naseem Shah said he has a lot of respect for Virat Kohli but he is not afraid of bowling to the India skipper. The 17-year-old pacer, in fact, believes he will get an opportunity to raise his game when bowling to Kohli.

    "I hope that I can bowl well against India when that chance comes by and won't let our fans down. As for Virat Kohli, I respect him but don't fear him," Naseem Shah was quoted as saying by PakPassion.net.

    "It's always a challenge to bowl to the best, but that's where you have to raise your game. I look forward to playing against Virat Kohli and India whenever that chance comes.

    "India versus Pakistan is always special and I have already been told that players can become heroes and villains in those matches.

    "They are special matches as they happen so rarely and yes, I am looking forward to playing against India whenever that opportunity arises."

    Naseem Shah, known for his raw pace, made his Test debut as a 16-year-old in Pakistan's tour of Australia last year. He went on to pick up a 5-wicket haul against Sri Lanka in Karachi and picked up a hat-trick against Bangladesh in Rawalpindi, thereby becoming the youngest bowler in Test cricket history to do so.

    Following his impressive performances in red-ball cricket, Naseem Shah earned a central contract with Pakistan when the Pakistan Cricket Board announced their list last month. The teenage pacer has been placed in Category C along with the likes of Imam-ul-Haq, Fakhar Zaman and Imad Wasim.

    https://www.indiatoday.in/sports/cri...159-2020-06-01


    For the latest updates on Cricket, follow @PakPassion on Twitter

  15. #15
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    LAHORE: Young Pakistan speedster Naseem Shah has heaped praise on India skipper Virat Kohli and also stated he is waiting for his chance to play against his team's arch-rivals.

    India and Pakistan only meet each other in ICC tournaments with the last contest taking place in the 2019 World Cup where the Men in Blue emerged victorious.

    Naseem said that he respects Kohli but doesn't fear him despite his incredible batting credentials.

    "India versus Pakistan is always special and I have already been told that players can become heroes and villains in those matches," Naseem was quoted as saying by PakPassion.net.

    "They are special matches as they happen so rarely and yes, I am looking forward to playing against India whenever that opportunity arises. I hope that I can bowl well against India when that chance comes by and won't let our fans down.

    "As for Virat Kohli, I respect him but don't fear him. It's always a challenge to bowl to the best, but that's where you have to raise your game. I look forward to playing against Virat Kohli and India whenever that chance comes," he added.

    Earlier this year, Naseem became the youngest cricketer to scalp a Test hat-trick when he dismissed three Bangladesh batsmen off successive deliveries in Rawalpindi.

    The young pacer recalled that moment and stated it was special moment for him to perform like that in front of Pakistan fans on home turf.

    "The best thing about it was that it was in my home country and in front of my countrymen at Rawalpindi. I know Pakistan has been starved of international cricket for many years and in a way, I hope it was a special moment for fans who were at the ground," Naseem said.

    "I wasn't too happy with the way I had bowled in the first innings in that Test match against Bangladesh, and I wanted to make amends for it in the second innings and that hat-trick definitely made me feel better.

    "I just hope it's the first of many records I can break during my career, but above all, it meant that I had helped Pakistan towards victory," he added.

    Pakistan are next scheduled to play a Test series in England in July or August post the enforced break brought by the COVID-19 pandemic.

    https://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/...w/76131266.cms


    For the latest updates on Cricket, follow @PakPassion on Twitter

  16. #16
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    Virat Kohli is regarded by many as the best batsman in the world currently and the prospect of bowling to him surely makes a few bowlers very nervous. Pakistan's 17-year-old pace sensation Naseem Shah, though, is looking forward to taking on the India's batting star and said that while he respects the Indian captain, he doesn't fear him. "I hope that I can bowl well against India when that chance comes by and won't let our fans down. As for Virat Kohli, I respect him but don't fear him," Naseem Shah said.

    "It's always a challenge to bowl to the best, but that's where you have to raise your game. I look forward to playing against Virat Kohli and India whenever that chance comes, the young pacer was quoted saying by PakPassion.net.

    Naseem became the youngest fast bowler in history to take a five-wicket haul in an innings and a hat-trick in consecutive Tests against Sri Lanka (December 2019) and Bangladesh (February 2020) in Karachi and Rawalpindi.

    Naseem, who burst onto the scene on Pakistan's Australia tour last year, is the youngest fast bowler and second bowler overall to take five wickets in a Test innings.

    He achieved that feat at 16 years and 307 days against Sri Lanka in Karachi last year.

    Virat Kohli has taken world cricket by storm with his batting exploits in recent times. The Indian skipper has broken records at will in the past two years but one person who is always been hot on on his heels is Australia's Steve Smith.

    While many have admitted that Virat Kohli is head and shoulders above the rest when it comes to the limited-over formats, some are of the belief that Smith is better when it comes to the longest format.

    As per the current ICC Rankings, Smith heads the list in Test rankings with Kohli hot on his heels. In the ODI rankings, Virat Kohli sits pretty at the top followed by teammate Rohit Sharma with Smith not featuring even in top 10.

    In T20Is, Pakistan batsman Babar Azam is in number one spot followed by India star KL Rahul with Kohli currently in 10th spot. Smith is currently in 52nd spot in the table.

    https://sports.ndtv.com/cricket/resp...=cricketwidget


    For the latest updates on Cricket, follow @PakPassion on Twitter

  17. #17
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    Quote Originally Posted by Slog View Post
    Kid, Kohli doesnít even know of your existence.

    All the best to him but I didnít see anything elite in him to say he will be world class. Obviously he can be improved a lot so good luck!
    Interviewer asked him about Kohli and he answered it perfectly.

  18. #18
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    Quote Originally Posted by Slog View Post
    Kid, Kohli doesnít even know of your existence.

    All the best to him but I didnít see anything elite in him to say he will be world class. Obviously he can be improved a lot so good luck!
    Quote Originally Posted by shah_1 View Post
    Interviewer asked him about Kohli and he answered it perfectly.
    Exactly I donít get why slog had to say that, if an international bowler fears any batsman then he has the wrong mindset, he answered the question perfectly, so I donít get why you have to question his existence in Kohlis eyes?

  19. #19
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    Fantastic to see such a young talent confident yet not arrogant in his abilities. This is the type of winning mindset that help propel players to the top.


    Arsenal all the way!! (and Pakistan, of course!)

  20. #20
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    Good interview

    Wish you all the best Naseem Shah.

  21. #21
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    Quote Originally Posted by Saj View Post
    A pleasant and humble young man, let's hope he stays this way and doesn't head down the wrong path like others have over the years.

    He's very keen to do well, has that hunger and desire to succeed, again let's hope he stays this way.

    It's all about the company they keep and whether those friends keep them on the right path.

    Sometimes success comes too soon for these youngsters and they can't handle the fame and fortune.
    They are all humble at the start, it's when they get money in their pockets and sycophants around them that they become idiots. IA Naseem isn't one of them but a lack of education and good guidance, combined with a lack of bafic intelligence in some players leads to a waste of incredible talents. And please Naseem stay away from bookies.

  22. #22
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  23. #23
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    Naseem battles will be with Gill and Shaw.Virat is not from his generation .

  24. #24
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    Quote Originally Posted by Xoib View Post
    Naseem battles will be with Gill and Shaw.Virat is not from his generation .
    Naseem will still hopefully face Virat. Many India-Pakistan matches to come before Virat retires in 5 years iA.

  25. #25
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    Quote Originally Posted by Thunderbolt14 View Post
    Naseem will still hopefully face Virat. Many India-Pakistan matches to come before Virat retires in 5 years iA.
    Yes but it's not his rivalry his main rivals will be next generation of indian batsmen Gill, Shaw and co

  26. #26
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    Quote Originally Posted by Xoib View Post
    Naseem battles will be with Gill and Shaw.Virat is not from his generation .
    He doesnt need to be in his generations

  27. #27
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    Quote Originally Posted by Slog View Post
    Kid, Kohli doesn’t even know of your existence.

    All the best to him but I didn’t see anything elite in him to say he will be world class. Obviously he can be improved a lot so good luck!
    He was asked the question, he answered it. I don't get why you are so upset by his answer or what he said that was so offensive to you.



  28. #28
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    Well done kid and rightly so...
    and for once positive comments from posters.
    Normally, pak posters would go into a negative mode and start slagging off their own players.
    Why should he fear Kohli or any batter for that matter...they're all there to be picked up.
    Once, you cross that while line, phir koi baap beta, mama chacha nahin...you're all there doing the best that you can.

  29. #29
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    Some really nice comments by Mudassar Nazar about Naseem!

    PakPassion.net: Tell us about your impressions of Naseem Shah as you have spent time with him at the NCA as well?

    Mudassar Nazar: Naseem Shah was another talented pacer we saw earlier in his career at the NCA but he had issues with his bowling action which was putting a lot of pressure on his back which he broke in three different places. So, we were tasked to nurse him through this recovery period and also fix the issues with his bowling action. We put him through a very strict regime that lasted about 9 months and I kept him right next to me at the NCA and made sure he followed instructions to the letter. At one stage we thought we had lost him but that boy worked very hard and was totally dedicated towards his own recovery. He had this self-belief and he came through. I hope he continues to grow, remain strong and performs well. If he continues to play cricket, he will achieve big things for Pakistan as that is the kind of potential he has. But I am not the only one who backed him, as Andy Roberts also saw him at an earlier stage in Karachi and felt that Naseem had something special about him.


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  30. #30
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    Naseem Shah spoke to PakPassion.net about the upcoming tour of England, including what he intends to learn from the likes of James Anderson, Stuart Broad and Joffra Archer, why he is looking forward to bowling to Joe Root and Ben Stokes and his aspirations to play county cricket if given a chance to do so.


    Pakistan’s uncanny ability to produce incredible fast-bowling talent from all corners of the country is a fact that has been evident for many years. From Fazal Mahmood, Imran Khan, Wasim Akram, Waqar Younis to Shoaib Akhtar, the world of cricket has been enthralled by extreme pace and sublime movement which has become the hallmark of pacemen from Pakistan.

    But with the end of Shoaib Akhtar’s international career in 2011, there had been a degree of pessimism amongst cricket enthusiasts about the lack of fresh blood in Pakistan’s pace-bowling department. However, it would appear that any fears have been assuaged to a huge extent with the arrival of Pakistan’s latest fast-bowling talent in the shape of Naseem Shah.

    Part of Pakistan’s Under-19 pace battery which also produced the likes of Shaheen Shah Afridi, Naseem has quickly gained a reputation for his pace, aggression and maturity. Whilst his international debut for Pakistan on the tour of Australia last year did not yield the fantastic results that many had hoped for, it did show the immense potential that he possessed. His talents subsequently came to the fore during the home series against Bangladesh when he became the youngest man to take a hat-trick in Tests which definitely reinforced his credentials as a young bowler of immense skill and potential.

    Whilst the Coronavirus Pandemic has cast its dark shadow on sports activity, thankfully plans are underway to resume cricket with the proposed scheduling of Pakistan’s tour of England, starting later this year. Bowling in English conditions has always represented a great opportunity for Pakistani fast-bowlers and is something that Naseem Shah is looking forward to with eager anticipation.

    “I’m raring to go again and to start playing cricket, as it feels like it’s been a long time since I was in competitive action. Looking to the tour of England, well I’ve never been there before and I really hope that the series goes ahead. I see it as another fantastic learning opportunity for me on my cricketing journey. The biggest challenge for me will be to adjust to the conditions in England and to utilise the conditions to the best of my ability. I’ve always heard great things about playing cricket in England and I’m really looking forward to testing my skills there.”

    England’s record on home soil has been a strong and enviable one and should not be a matter of surprise, given the bowling resources at hand. For a bowler like Naseem, who is still raw and inexperienced, understanding the manner in which England’s top bowlers such as Jimmy Anderson use the conditions to their advantage could well provide the knowledge that would be crucial for his success later this summer, “Learning from your own coaches and team-mates is vital, but I feel that speaking to the opposition bowlers and learning from them is almost equally as important. I’ll be watching James Anderson, Joffra Archer and Stuart Broad very closely, to see what they do and how they bowl in English conditions. I’m a big admirer particularly of James Anderson and will definitely try to have a chat with him about the art of pace-bowling at every opportunity. You don’t take hundreds of Test wickets without knowing what you are doing and to be around Anderson and have the opportunity to learn from him is something that I am not going to miss out on.”

    He may be young, but the ability to judge his foes to ensure that he comes out on top is something many experts have already admired in Naseem Shah. As he looks forward to his possible battles with some of the top English batsmen, the young fast-bowler is confident but in no doubt as to the magnitude of the challenge that awaits him on the tour.

    “Joe Root and Ben Stokes are two of the England cricketers that I rate highly, and it will be great to test myself against them in their home conditions. Having said that though, I respect good players, but I will not fear them. Yes, I will show them respect, but I will not let them dominate me and I will not think that these guys are really good, world-class batsmen and that I should be concerned or worried about bowling to them.”

    It would be unrealistic for anyone to not be affected by the level of destruction and misery that the Coronavirus Pandemic continues to inflict on humanity across the globe but given the precautions provided by ICC guidelines and those proposed by the ECB, it would appear that Pakistan’s tour of England will become a reality. Whilst Naseem Shah fully understands the needs for measures taken to protect players and audiences, there is a part of him which will be a little sad when playing in empty stadiums on English soil.

    “We will rely on guidance from the Pakistan Cricket Board who are of course speaking with the England and Wales Cricket Board about the arrangements for the tour. If the Boards feel that it’s safe to play cricket in England, then I’m ready for it. It will of course be sad and strange to not have any fans in the ground, just as the stadium was empty in the latter matches of the Pakistan Super League this year. It’s not ideal, it was a bit surreal, but I think cricket in empty stadiums is better than no cricket at all. Mentally you have to prepare yourself for the fact that there will be no fans in the stadium, but at the end of the day you are still playing for your country. Without fans or with fans in the ground, it’s an honour to play cricket for your nation.”

    The experience of playing County cricket in England is one that many greats of Pakistan cricket have attributed to their development in the past. It therefore stands to reason that Naseem is looking at the upcoming tour as a way of impressing observers in England with a view to perhaps playing County cricket at some point in the future, “Looking back over the years many of the Pakistani fast-bowling greats have played County cricket and really benefitted from it. Imran Khan, Wasim Akram and Waqar Younis are just some of the bowlers who have said that County cricket really helped them mature and improve and I would definitely like that opportunity at some point. I just need to manage my workload and not overdo it, but if the opportunity arose to play County cricket in future, I would jump at the chance as I know that it will definitely help in my development as a bowler.”
    Last edited by MenInG; 20th June 2020 at 00:11.


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  31. #31
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    As an indian i feel fantastic sensible comments by NS. Obviously the comment on VK is the red herring magnet, but removing the jingoism aside, he's got the ball in his hands, the batsmen have the bat, his job is to get wickets and not be overawed or have a complex, his attitude has to be 'if he is good enough to bat for his team, i'm good enough to knock his block off/take his wicket'....i think NS was spot on with his comments....i am a fan of your pace bowling and really feel you guys are blessed tohave shaheen, NS, musa, hasnain, Rauf from the new lot - these will serve u for next 10-15 years, exciting tosee young talents....

  32. #32
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    Naseem Shah in good hands - best time to learn from Waqar!



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  33. #33
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    Quote Originally Posted by MenInG View Post
    Naseem Shah in good hands - best time to learn from Waqar!

    Definitely in good hands. We have already seen improvements in Shaheen Shah, hopefully Naseem can follow the similar path as well.

  34. #34
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    Says he likes the cooler weather of the UK



  35. #35
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    Quote Originally Posted by Saj View Post
    Says he likes the cooler weather of the UK
    Its generally the ideal weather in UK this time of the year and add to that peak summer period in Pakistan so the change must be likable.
    Last edited by Titan24; 30th June 2020 at 23:56.

  36. #36
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    Hopefully with consistently working on his game and as his body gets a bit bigger, his pace could well increase into becoming a consistent 90-95mph bowler something that Pakistan has been desperately missing in the last 10 years or so. 1

  37. #37
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    Before anyone says we have Wahab, he wasn't and isn't a consistent 90-95mph bowler where as he has mostly been 86-89mph with the odd effort one going to 90mph or 91mph.

  38. #38
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    I hope they don't start throwing him into all formats like they are witj Shaheen.

    The lad is still very young, could pick up injuries, so needs to be handled carefully.



  39. #39
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    English bowlers struggling to take wickets in intra-squad warmup game despite the cloud cover(I personally don't buy it that cloud cover actually helps seamers), could it be that saliva ban is gonna highly affect wicket taking ability of bowlers? Watched a bit of it (warmup game) and it's looks boring, not like what it used to be on an English pitch in the morning session.

  40. #40
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    Quote Originally Posted by Saj View Post
    I hope they don't start throwing him into all formats like they are witj Shaheen.

    The lad is still very young, could pick up injuries, so needs to be handled carefully.
    He suddenly played a few back to back tests and then was injured before the PSL right?

    COVID could have been a bit of a blessing for him, allowing him to freshen up a bit.

    But yes, he needs to be carefully managed here. One of the most valuable assets Pakistan cricket has had for a while and the same potential as Babar and Shaheen if he stays fit.


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