Naseem Shah made his debut in the Brisbane Test and for a 16-year-old, he showed immense pace. (Photo Credit: Getty Images)
Naseem Shah was hailed as an exciting prospect when he made his Test debut at the age of 16 during the Brisbane Test against Australia. Naseem had a reputation of bowling in excess of 150 kmph and his raw pace made him someone to look out. However, he had a pretty ordinary debut as he conceded 68 runs in 20 overs and scored just seven runs. Naseem got rid of David Warner but he overstepped and his no-ball problems made his debut slightly less memorable. Warner scored a century but Naseem got his wicket finally as Australia won by an innings and five runs.
After making his Test debut, Naseem is all set for a new role as he was selected in the Pakistan squad for the upcoming 2020 ICC Under-19 World Cup which will be played in South Africa. The head coach of the Pakistan juniors Ijaz Ahmed confirmed that he has asked chief selector and national bowling coach Waqar Younis to release Naseem from the senior outfit for the youth World Cup. Ijaz, the former Test captain, who recently guided the Pakistan Emerging side to the Asian Emerging Nations Cup title said once Naseem joined the junior team the pace attack would look very menacing.
"Like I said before he will be our main weapon in the mega event and I want him to join the training camp with the junior players at the National Cricket Academy in Lahore. Naseem will add a lot of potency to our attack as we have some other very good young pace bowlers and spinners," Ijaz remarked. Pakistan is due to return from Australia by Thursday night and a source said Ijaz will meet with Misbah and Waqar the next day to confirm on Naseem joining the camp and take a progress report about his fitness. The youngster is said to be struggling with a calf muscle problem.
Pakistan's nightmare in Australia was prolonged after the innings and 48-run loss in the Pink Ball Test in Adelaide. Pakistan, who last won a Test in Australia in 1995, has now suffered fifve consecutive whitewashes in Test series Down Under. After their win in Sydney in 1995, Pakistan were whitewashed 3-0 in 1999, 2004, 2009 and 2016. Heading into the series, there was less expectation from the Pakistan side to stem their losing streak in Australia. However, after twin innings defeats in Brisbane and Adelaide, Pakistan have now lost 14 consecutive Tests in Australia.
The mark of 14 now gives Pakistan the unwanted world record of suffering the most consecutive defeats in a single country in the history of Test matches. Pakistan went past Bangladesh's tally of 13 consecutive losses which they suffered at home from 2001 to 2004. The streak began when they lost by eight wickets to Zimbabwe in Chattogram and it continued until their innings and 83-run loss to India at the same venue in 2004. With the loss in Adelaide, Pakistan have now assumed the mantle.