Published: Thu, November 21, 2019
Sport | By Kayla Schwartz

Pakistan 16-year-old to make Test debut against Australia

Pakistan 16-year-old to make Test debut against Australia

Sixteen-year-old Naseem Shah is ready to become the youngest Test cricketer ever to play on Australian soil, with Pakistan skipper Azhar Ali confident the young paceman is among a group of bowlers who can help end a long winless streak Down Under.

Pakistan square off against Australia in the first Test in Brisbane starting Thursday and head coach Misbah-ul-Haq hinted at the inclusion of Naseem, who had Australia's batsmen hopping and jumping during his hostile eight-over spell in a practice match.

Pat Cummins, Mitchell Starc and Australia's potent attack will get their opportunity to rip in at the Gabba after Tim Paine lost the toss against Pakistan on the opening morning of the First Test.

"He's very fit, I have captained him in first-class matches and he has overs under his belt", he said.

They also have Imran Khan senior, who back in the Test squad for the first time since their Australian tour in 2017, along with the risky Mohammad Abbas and prolific leg-spinner Yasir Shah.

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He missed the second day of the three-day match but bowled brilliantly to take 1-21 in the second innings, including removing Test opener Marcus Harris.

The pace bowler has big wraps on him with the great Dennis Lillee singling the teenager out as one of the players he's looking forward to seeing this series.

"Not many players can be at that standard so early but there are exceptions and he is one of them", Ali said. I think the same goes for Naseem. Pakistan hasn't won a Test series in Australia, and hasn't won a Test match here since 1995. We have the talent to do well here. Pakistan have got a knack of finding these young fast bowlers. "So you have to be very, very disciplined, just keep the ball there, and if it's happening you are already in the game", he added.

"Obviously, he didn't put the runs on the board he would like, but I still know he believes and we believe he is a world-class opener, he has played almost 80 Tests and averages 45, so I'd be expecting that to be back up over 50 by the end of this series".

"I would have liked to have batted, but there's always a bit in it at the Gabba", he said.

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