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  1. #1
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    "The outswinger is something that I really need to work on and develop": Shaheen Shah Afridi

    At just 20 years of age, Shaheen Shah Afridi has established himself as an integral part of the Pakistan squad in all three formats. Having represented Pakistan 45 times, the young fast-bowler is already widely regarded as one of the world's top bowling talents.

    In an exclusive interview with PakPassion.net, Afridi reflected upon his own performance on the recently concluded tour of England, how Naseem Shah and he are handling the weight of expectations placed on their shoulders, why he hopes that India and Pakistan resume cricketing rivalries and his aim to help Pakistan win a World Cup.





    PakPassion.net: Tell us about your experience at Hampshire during the Vitality T20 Blast tournament.

    Shaheen Shah Afridi:
    Playing for Hampshire in the T20 Blast is my first experience in a major T20 League outside the Pakistan Super League and this has been a good learning experience. I am learning a lot from my time at Hampshire and am getting to know how cricket is played in this part of the world. Obviously, the process of learning never stops for any cricketer and I am really enjoying my time here and hopefully not only can I put whatever I learn here to good use when I represent Pakistan next but also share this knowledge with my team-mates.


    PakPassion.net: Your best performance for Hampshire came in your last match. That must have been very pleasing taking 6 for 19?

    Shaheen Shah Afridi:
    It was really satisfying to have performed so well in my last match for Hampshire in the T20 Blast and taken 6/19 to help them win. I was obviously a little frustrated during the tournament as I could only take 1 wicket until the final match, but then this is what cricket is all about. You can only try your best but sometimes these things are not in your hands, however I can only thank the Almighty for helping me perform so well in the last game. To take 6 wickets then was obviously very pleasing and I have never taken 4 wickets in 4 balls before so understandably, I was very happy with my performance and hope itís something that Hampshireís fans will be happy with.


    PakPassion.net: Tell us about the tour of England and how you adjusted to the bio-secure environment?

    Shaheen Shah Afridi:
    This was a difficult scenario for all of us to face as we hadnít played cricket for a while and had been sitting at home, waiting patiently to play cricket again. It was great to be back on the field, although it felt a little surreal without any fans. But despite there being no crowd I am very grateful to the PCB and the ECB for arranging the tour and making our stay as comfortable as it could have been given the circumstances. The atmosphere in our camp was excellent and we really enjoyed the time we all spent together. We bonded really well during this time and all in all, we felt quite satisfied with our performances on the tour.


    PakPassion.net: How important was this tour for you in terms of your development as a fast-bowler?

    Shaheen Shah Afridi:
    I think it would be fair to say that one never stops learning as a cricketer, no matter how many games you have under your belt. This process continues throughout your career as you represent your country around the world and against different opponents. The tour of England was a great learning experience for me, and I hope to continue this learning and along the way put in some good performances for Pakistan or for any other team that I am representing.


    PakPassion.net: Do you feel that the Pakistani bowlers performed to expectations in the Test series?

    Shaheen Shah Afridi:
    Although the final result did not go in our favour, we did play some good and attractive cricket. Whilst we did lose the first Test, we were unlucky to have been unable to get better results in the second and third Tests due to the presence of rain. All in all, our guys played some good cricket with Naseem Shah and Mohammad Abbas putting in some good performances with the ball. Before the series we had felt that the Dukes ball would favour our style of bowling but unfortunately that didnít work out. All in all, the tour of England was tough, as they are a strong team in home conditions, with some outstanding players in their red ball and white ball squads. Despite results not going our way, it was a great learning experience for me, and I feel itís the sort of tour that will help me become a better cricketer in future


    PakPassion.net: There was some criticism of your bowling in England. Were you satisfied with your performance on this tour?

    Shaheen Shah Afridi:
    To be honest, its only when your side wins the series is when you are truly happy. Looking back at the Test series against England, I have all sorts of thoughts in my head revolving around what I could have done better, what went ok and what did not go well. Winning the series for the team would have pleased me no end but since that did not happen, I am not that happy with how things turned out. Having said that, I will say that I am about 50-70% satisfied with my bowling on this tour. I feel that I put in my best effort during this series and the fact is that one can only try their best and then leave the rest to the Almighty.


    PakPassion.net: What lessons did you and Naseem Shah learn from the way James Anderson and Stuart Broad bowled during the Test series?

    Shaheen Shah Afridi:
    There is absolutely no doubt that both Anderson and Broad are experienced and world-class bowlers, but one must remember that even they would have had high strike rates when they had started their careers. Both Naseem Shah and I are in the early stages of our careers and are hoping to learn and improve quickly. Just watching two masters of their trade, Anderson and Broad, at work was very beneficial for us. Seeing how they were bowling with the new ball and then the old ball and what sort of fields they set was very impressive and something that hopefully Naseem and I can bring into our game one day. We were also lucky to have someone so experienced like Waqar Younis as our bowling coach. Waqar gave me a lot of guidance during this series and I hope to continue learning from him and applying that learning whenever I play next for Pakistan.


    PakPassion.net: Whatís happened to your outswinger to right-handed batsmen?

    Shaheen Shah Afridi:
    To be honest, I havenít been able to bowl many outswinging deliveries in my international career so far. This has been the case for the past two years and the closest I can come to bowling outswingers is to angle the ball across batsmen which is what I did during the tour of England. I tried to bowl this way but that just didnít go according to plan. I suppose how and what you bowl to a specific batsman is based upon oneís reading of his weaknesses, but yes, my attempts at angling the ball across the batsman didnít work out as expected. The outswinger is something that I really need to work on and develop, as without it, I wonít feel that I can become a complete bowler.


    PakPassion.net: How tough is it for a young bowler to adjust to playing all three formats at the international level?

    Shaheen Shah Afridi:
    As a young bowler, all you wish to do is to perform well and help your team win matches. Of course, participating in all three formats of the game is very tough. Itís a demanding ask for any bowler as the team strategies and the pace of the game is totally different in each of the formats and the way the captain and team management wish to utilize your skills is a challenge in itself. But my aim is to do my best for Pakistan, and it doesnít matter whether itís in the red or white ball format.


    PakPassion.net: How does it feel for Naseem and you to be compared to the likes of Waqar Younis and Wasim Akram at such an early stage of your career?

    Shaheen Shah Afridi:
    Itís perfectly natural for people to feel optimistic about any young player who is representing their country. The hopes and dreams of our fans and the love they have for us gives rise to such comparisons and unfortunately the age of the player doesnít matter. From my point of view, it is indeed an honour for both Naseem and I to be compared to the two Ws but our objective is not only to follow in their footsteps but to create our own place in history so that people will know us as two bowlers who achieved so much for Pakistan. I know that we have a long way to go but we will try our best to achieve those goals.


    PakPassion.net: How do you cope with the pressure from fans and supporters at such a young age?

    Shaheen Shah Afridi:
    As a cricketer you are always faced with pressure at whatever level of cricket you are playing in. Whether you are playing for your national side, your franchise or even a club game, itís all about knowing how to handle pressure. In my case, whenever I play for Pakistan, I get great support from the team management, coaching staff, captain and above all my team-mates. This sort of support is morale-boosting and has helped me perform well up till now and will also drive me to do better in the future as well.


    PakPassion.net: It seems that expectations of Pakistani cricketers at a young age seem to be unrealistic from many. Does that make life difficult for upcoming Pakistani cricketers?

    Shaheen Shah Afridi:
    It stands to reason that whilst you may have a lot of talent, it will only get you so far. What really matters is the amount of hard work you put in and that is my message to all youngsters in Pakistan in any profession. I can only say that hard work does pay off, but also expectations have to be realistic, as young cricketers cannot become sensations overnight. Fans need to be patient and understand that there will be good days and bad days, but the effort level will always be there from Pakistani cricketers.


    PakPassion.net: You must have many aims and goals that you want to achieve during your career?

    Shaheen Shah Afridi:
    My coach Abdul Rehman has always told me to not worry about the past as that is now history. Instead itís best to enjoy and concentrate on doing well today and to always be prepared for what lies ahead in future. So, following this advice I am working hard now and keeping an eye on the future without worrying about it too much.

    If we speak of goals it would be great if I am selected to play for Pakistan in the 2021 T20 World Cup and I can help us win that tournament. I'd love to be part of a World Cup winning squad one day. Itís always a great honour to be part of a World Cup winning squad as we can see that even today, people speak in glowing terms about our legendary cricketers who won the 1992 World Cup. The same applies to the glory associated with the winners of the 2009 T20 World Cup, especially the likes of Younis Khan who captained the side and Shahid Afridi who was Man of the Match in the final. Of course, who can forget how our team did the nation proud in the 2017 Champions Trophy so being part of such a squad is always great but whether I am part of the squad or not, I would love for Pakistan to be the number one side in the world in all formats.


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

  2. #2
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    He's basically saying that he is playing international cricket without being able to bowl an outswinger.

    That's quite scary.



  3. #3
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    Quote Originally Posted by Saj View Post
    He's basically saying that he is playing international cricket without being able to bowl an outswinger.

    That's quite scary.
    But at least he is aware of his weaknesses and knows in which aspect of bowling he needs to work on.

    This behaviour is much better than the one some other players have i.e. " I don't think there is any issue with my technique"

  4. #4
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    Quote Originally Posted by Saj View Post
    He's basically saying that he is playing international cricket without being able to bowl an outswinger.

    That's quite scary.
    Not every bowler bowls two swings. Some legends such as steyn, Donald and very successful bowlers such Bond, Southee, Ishant Sharma, even Amir have only bowled one swing with the new ball.
    However there are ways to create variation; using the wobble seam delivery to get it dart in or out.

    This comes with time, understanding and practice.
    So it isn't really a big deal as you think it is.

  5. #5
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    SHAHEEN MUST REST.

    I remember shouting from the rooftops they were running Amir into the ground - 6 months into his comeback.

    They are doing the same to Shaheen.

    There is no rest/workload management plan for Shaheen it looks like. He is playing all formats, almost all games everywhere.

    GIVE HIM SOME REST.

  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by Pacy with wisdom View Post
    Not every bowler bowls two swings. Some legends such as steyn, Donald and very successful bowlers such Bond, Southee, Ishant Sharma, even Amir have only bowled one swing with the new ball.
    However there are ways to create variation; using the wobble seam delivery to get it dart in or out.

    This comes with time, understanding and practice.
    So it isn't really a big deal as you think it is.
    The best bowlers aren't one-trick ponies.

    Time is on Shaheen's side but in my opinion he needs to get the outswinger working or he will struggle, as he did against England who hD worked him out very easily.



  7. #7
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    These young bowlers start struggling as time goes on, I don't really have too much hope going forward for Shaheen. He has potential to be a fantastic bowler and has got all the qualities for one but he needs to make sure he doesn't get found out easily by opponents, feel like he's becoming predictable. Also needs to be benched sometimes, he's been playing too much.
    Last edited by MenInG; 2nd October 2020 at 12:15.

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by Corridor of Uncertainty View Post
    SHAHEEN MUST REST.

    I remember shouting from the rooftops they were running Amir into the ground - 6 months into his comeback.

    They are doing the same to Shaheen.

    There is no rest/workload management plan for Shaheen it looks like. He is playing all formats, almost all games everywhere.

    GIVE HIM SOME REST.
    The current bowling coach WY ruined himself by playing each and every game during his prime. It doesn't help when your bowling coach comes from the school of thought that if you bowl long spells day in, day out, if you bowl an unlimited amount of overs daily, you become stronger.

    Workload management is what the bowling coach should be responsible for

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by Saj View Post
    He's basically saying that he is playing international cricket without being able to bowl an outswinger.

    That's quite scary.
    How many Younger bowlers have come into test cricket with the ability to move the ball both ways? Even when Wasim Akram came into the side in 1987 he didnt know how to bowl a yorker, there was the one test where england had to chase a total in a small number of overs and Akram struggled with certain deliveries.

    The more worry sign for Shaheen would be though is he going to get right support and coaching to help him to be able to bowl an outswinger.

  10. #10
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    2 wickets so far for KP vs Balochistan - seems to be in good rhythm.


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  11. #11
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    5/20 for Shaheen - excellent performance - carrying on from his 6 wickets at Hampshire.


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  12. #12
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    He's the only fast bowler in our system currently who i have hopes from to become a big name.

  13. #13
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    Another five wicket haul for Shaheen! 5/21 vs Sindh. That's three five wicket hauls in his last few T20 games.

  14. #14
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  15. #15
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    Really needs to work on his outswingers release


    It is either a heartache or a headache ..Argh relationships.

  16. #16
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    I'd like to see him spend some time working with Wasim Akram.

    I know Wasim gets stick for his commentary, but he could really help Shaheen out with a few one to one sessions.



  17. #17
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  18. #18
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    Quote Originally Posted by Saj View Post
    He's basically saying that he is playing international cricket without being able to bowl an outswinger.

    That's quite scary.
    Imran Khan didn't have an outswinger. He developed a leg-cutter instead, because his action made outswing impossible.

    Waqar Younis only developed an outswinger in 1997, as he was losing his pace.

    Shane Bond didn't have an outswinger.

  19. #19
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    He was the biggest disappointment of the England tour. He went missing when it really mattered under pressure and he had enough experience under his belt to ensure that wasn't the case.

    Let's hope he has sorted all his technical issues out and that he has improved fitness which enables him to bowl fast at a consistent speed in all his spells

  20. #20
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    Someone correct me if Iím wrong but being a left handed bowler, as long as he gets consistent inswing, all he really needs to do is a push a few across the right handed batsmen to be a threat no? And then to left handlers his natural swing is an outswinger anyway. So being unable to bowl outswingers to right handlers shouldnít be a massive problem.


  21. #21
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    Quote Originally Posted by shady View Post
    Someone correct me if I’m wrong but being a left handed bowler, as long as he gets consistent inswing, all he really needs to do is a push a few across the right handed batsmen to be a threat no? And then to left handlers his natural swing is an outswinger anyway. So being unable to bowl outswingers to right handlers shouldn’t be a massive problem.
    Thats not wrong but it has to offer to move, even if slightly away from the bat to make the inswinger effective

  22. #22
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    I hope he doesn't become another white ball specialist which we seem to be producing a lot of recently.

    Pakistan needs good, solid Test bowlers and Shaheen has the skills to be one of those providing he remains keen to play the 5 day format.



  23. #23
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    Quote Originally Posted by Saj View Post
    I hope he doesn't become another white ball specialist which we seem to be producing a lot of recently.

    Pakistan needs good, solid Test bowlers and Shaheen has the skills to be one of those providing he remains keen to play the 5 day format.
    This is a problem for most of our bowlers with limited test cricket we play, lets hope he gets another stint at hampshire next year and can play quite a lot of 4 day cricket which would help him.

  24. #24
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    Quote Originally Posted by Saj View Post
    I hope he doesn't become another white ball specialist which we seem to be producing a lot of recently.

    Pakistan needs good, solid Test bowlers and Shaheen has the skills to be one of those providing he remains keen to play the 5 day format.
    In an ideal world, the PCB would pay these pacers $1,000,000 a year to deter them from playing T-20 leagues all over the world and only play selected ODI and test matches

  25. #25
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    Well, just dismissed Bismillah Khan with outswinging (To Right hander) fuller length delivery from around the wicket with the new ball to destroy his middle stump after he dismissed youngster Abdul Wahid with inswing in his first over.

  26. #26
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    Delivery to Bangalzai!



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  27. #27
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    he can bowl the outswinger. What he needs is to develop command over it, especially when he has to switch between the inswinger. This is a very tough skill to master and will happen only with time.
    Last edited by Pacy with wisdom; 10th October 2020 at 20:33.

  28. #28
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  29. #29
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    A leftie pace bowler needs to swing it in and out to be any kind of threat. At lest make it hold its line consistently and then use the inswinger. Ssa was very predictable with his inswinger in England.

    Wasim debuted around 1986 he didn’t have control of inswinger and outswinger until around 1990 when he started at Lancashire. So took about 4 years to develop. Amir debuted around 2017 but I didn’t see a decent inswinger till early 2010 I think it was Australia series. In short something about the angles make it imperative for a leftie to bowl both otherwise he’s half the bowler.

  30. #30
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    Quote Originally Posted by Abid Z View Post
    A leftie pace bowler needs to swing it in and out to be any kind of threat. At lest make it hold its line consistently and then use the inswinger. Ssa was very predictable with his inswinger in England.

    Wasim debuted around 1986 he didn’t have control of inswinger and outswinger until around 1990 when he started at Lancashire. So took about 4 years to develop. Amir debuted around 2017 but I didn’t see a decent inswinger till early 2010 I think it was Australia series. In short something about the angles make it imperative for a leftie to bowl both otherwise he’s half the bowler.
    Amir debuted in 2009

  31. #31
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    SSA can bowl an outswigner - he just doesnt have complete control/command over it. Hes an excellent bowler, and the best in Pakistan.
    Last edited by MenInG; 13th October 2020 at 15:17.

  32. #32
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    Quote Originally Posted by angrypathan View Post
    Amir debuted in 2009
    Obviously a typo. But yes amir debuted in t20 in 2007 and he was quite one dimensional in tests also till early 2010.

    The point being it takes 3-4 years of regular international cricket in whatever format for bowlers to develop.

    Just think how Anderson of 2003 was so different from Anderson of 2006 and then 2010

  33. #33
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    2 overs and 2 wickets in the National T20 Cup final at the moment.

    Very impressive bowling from the youngster.



  34. #34
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    Finishes with figures of 3/36 (4 Overs).

  35. #35
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    Shaheen is the Bowler of the Tournament.

  36. #36
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    Yet to see an out swinger to the right hander from him. His one dimensional inswinger will be countered by international players

  37. #37
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    Wickets in Nat T20 final.



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  38. #38
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    Misbah: the entire panel was in discussions with a specialist in England regarding Shaheenís workload and we are monitoring his fitness. For this reason he was also rested for 1-2 games in the recent tournament. The opinion of doctors and physios is that he will get stronger the more he plays, and the recommendation is that even during rest he bowls a little bit to maintain it, otherwise if he comes back after a prolonged rest he will have problems starting again. The goal is to manage not just his workload but that of all our bowlers, and not overbowl anyone unnecessarily.

  39. #39
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    Quote Originally Posted by Thunderbolt14 View Post
    Misbah: the entire panel was in discussions with a specialist in England regarding Shaheen’s workload and we are monitoring his fitness. For this reason he was also rested for 1-2 games in the recent tournament. The opinion of doctors and physios is that he will get stronger the more he plays, and the recommendation is that even during rest he bowls a little bit to maintain it, otherwise if he comes back after a prolonged rest he will have problems starting again. The goal is to manage not just his workload but that of all our bowlers, and not overbowl anyone unnecessarily.
    Lol this is probably Waqar who has the theory that you should bowl every day to get stronger which is how he messed up his own career by not monitoring his workload from 1989 to 1998, playing every useless JAMODI that came his way when he should have been resting and recuperating

  40. #40
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    Quote Originally Posted by Savak View Post
    Lol this is probably Waqar who has the theory that you should bowl every day to get stronger which is how he messed up his own career by not monitoring his workload from 1989 to 1998, playing every useless JAMODI that came his way when he should have been resting and recuperating
    Apparently they have consulted an English specialist. But yes Waqar does believe that and I disagree to the extent that you shouldnít play every game day in and day out.

    But a bowlerís body should still slowly get accustomed to the workload, itís not right to rest too much either as it exerts more strain on the body upon return. I do think Shaheen should be rested from the Zimbabwe series though.


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