Pakistan reverse-swing legend Sarfaraz Nawaz believes left-arm pacer Shaheen Shah Afridi, who moved up to Category A in the new central contract for the 2020-21 season, lacks sharpness in his bowling.
While speaking with the Indian Express, Nawaz also said that the rookie pacers, Naseem Shah and Mohammad Hasnain, needs to work on their fitness to prolong their career.
Naseem became the youngest Test bowler in history to take a fifer and a hat-trick in consecutive Tests against Sri Lanka and Bangladesh in Karachi and Rawalpindi, respectively. Whereas, Hasnain showed his skill, prowess and utility in limited-overs cricket and was inducted in a new Emerging Players’ Category of the central contract.
“Shaheen Shah Afridi is a medium pacer and lacks sharpness,” said Nawaz. “Naseem Shah and Mohammed Hasnain are quite effective but they are too young. Taking a look at their frail physiques and considerable heights, I don’t think they would be able to play longer for Pakistan. One has to be well-built for a longer career as a fast bowler.
Earlier this month, the PCB officially announced Babar Azam, who was already leading the Twenty20 International side, as captain of the 50-over team after former captain Sarfaraz Ahmed was sacked as captain from all formats in October 2019. However, Nawaz feels Babar needed more exposure before being handed a major responsibility.
“I think it’s too early for him to be a captain. He should have been given more exposure as a batsman and a vice-captain before giving the reins of the team,” he said. “Team members respect the skipper only when he is experienced and matured. Babar Azam is lacking on this front.”