Shadab Khan is a long-term asset for Pakistan cricket, says Selector

Shadab Khan is a long-term asset for Pakistan cricket, says Selector
Shadab Khan with his Man of the Series award. (FILE PHOTO: aFP)

KARACHI: Pakistan’s recent discovery, leg-spin sensation Shadab Khan is already considered by the selectors as a long-term asset for the national side in all three formats of the game despite his young age and very less experience of international cricket.

Shadab, after making it to Pakistan’s limited overs squads for the on-going tour of West Indies, was also named in the national Test squad for the three matches to be played later this month against the Caribbean side.

The 18-year-old, finished as the best bowler during the four-match T20 International series, with 10 wickets at an economy of less than five runs per over.

Member national selection committee and former Test cricketer Tauseef Ahmed believed Shadab can perform equally well with the red cherry and can serve Pakistan for many more years.

“Shadab can be looked up to as a long-term spin option for the Pakistan side in all formats,” Tauseef Ahmed told ARY Sports on Thursday.

“However, Yasir Shah is still our main spin-bowler in Tests and Shadab will be a fitting back up for him,” added Tauseef, who worked with Pakistan Super League (PSL) side Islamabad United as a coach.

United was the franchise which gave the perfect platform to the youngster to show off his extraordinary leg-spin ability to the world.

Tauseef, on one hand, did admit PSL was the reason Shadab shot to stardom — but on the other, he said, the selectors have kept eyes on him way before the cash-rich T20 league’s second season kicked off.

“PSL was definitely the platform where Shadab Khan attracted all eyes but this lad has been under the our observation since a very young age and has made it to the Pakistan side after playing for the Under-19s and Pakistan ‘A’,” said the former off-spinner pressing on the importance of ‘A’ team cricket.

“Shadab is just another product of the domestic system — and if cricketers who perform in the first-class matches keep getting exposure through Pakistan ‘A’ team tours, we will see much more talent coming through,” he added.

Indeed, Shadab came through the right process to make it to the national side. The googly specialist has performed wherever he has played — with 24 wickets in just four First Class outings and 17 List A wickets in 12 matches.

There must have been something special about Shadab that makes him so successful in such less time.

According to Tauseef, high-voltage runs through Shadab’s veins. The leg-spinner shows excitement, and hunger for success — and that is not just limited to official matches.

“Shadab’s excitement and positivity is not only seen in official matches. He would appeal for LBW with similar excitement as an international match even if he hit the batsman’s pads during the nets,” revealed Tauseef, who played for Pakistan in 34 Tests and 70 ODIs.

“Shadab’s self-confidence and body language makes him stand-out. His aggression is not contained to just bowling but also in the field and with the bat. At the age of 18, that makes him special.”

Tauseef said expecting too much from Shadab will not be a good idea for the fans and selectors.

“Shadab is not flawless and he will definitely make mistakes. But that will only help him grow further. The selectors and the coaches are there to help him out.”

Pakistan will lock horns with the West Indies in the three-match ODI series starting Friday — and with the dream start Shadab got as a Pakistan international it is to be seen how well the youngster performs in the longer format.