Naseem Shah's debut in international cricket hasn’t gone the way he would have expected. The 16-year-old pace sensation went wicketless in his maiden Test. The right-arm pacer troubled the likes of Joe Burns and David Warner with his extreme pace. He could have had his first wicket in just his seventh over when he had Warner edge one behind the stumps. However, replays showed that he had marginally overstepped.
Looks a terrific prospect. But is 16 now, aging backwards i think https://t.co/frlg06ZIFk— Mohammad Kaif (@MohammadKaif) November 22, 2019
According to a leading media portal, in spite of all the buzz surrounding his pace, Shah looked to have landed in controversy for allegedly hiding his real age. A piece was published in Pakistan’s leading publication which quoted West Indian fast bowling great Andy Roberts who said that he liked Naseem. Fans have come up with old articles to back their claims regarding Naseem lying about his age.
Former India cricketer Mohammad Kaif has trolled the bowler too. Kaif re-tweeted a message from Pakistan journalist Saj Sadiq where the latter said that the pacer is 17-year old and cheekily wrote, "Looks a terrific prospect. But is 16 now, ageing backwards i think."
On Thursday, Naseem (at the age of 16 years and 279 days) made his debut. It made him the youngest player in Test cricket to debut on Australian soil. He came to bat at No 10 to face Mitchell Starc’s hat-trick ball and managed to play out an inswinging yorker. He made just seven runs. On Friday morning, he impressed everyone with the ball in hand. Although, he failed to take a wicket, he made quite an impression. Interestingly, this Test is only Shah’s eighth first-class match.
Pakistan bowlers will have to pull up their socks in order to stop Australia batsmen from stretching the lead. If the bowlers do manage to pick up early wickets, then they can stand a chance to make a comeback into the match.