Won­derkid Sha­heen ready for ul­ti­mate Test

Sport360 - - Pakistan v New Zealand - By Waseem Ahmed @Sport360 ✉ ed­i­to­rial@sport360.com

Pak­istan’s se­lec­tors Satur­day in­cluded teenage pace sen­sa­tion Sha­heen Shah Afridi in a 15-man squad for the first two of the three Tests against New Zealand start­ing in Abu Dhabi next week.

The 18-year-old has been in devastating form in the on­go­ing one­day se­ries in the UAE, taking 4-46 and 4-38 in the two matches so far.

He also took 3-20 in a Twenty20 match against New Zealand and four wick­ets in two Twenty20 internationals against Aus­tralia last month, also in the UAE.

The sen­sa­tional pace bowler emerged on the scene last year, taking 8-39 in an in­nings in his first class de­but, the best-ever fig­ures by a Pak­istani bowler in his first match.

Pak­istan and New Zealand play the first Test in Abu Dhabi November 16-20. The sec­ond match will be in Dubai November 24-28 while the fi­nal Test is also in Abu Dhabi December 3-7. A squad for the fi­nal Test will be an­nounced later.

“Sha­heen has been in­cluded in the squad keeping into ac­count his cur­rent form,” said chief se­lec­tor In­za­mam-ul-Haq. “He has impressed with his bowl­ing.”

Fast bowler Mo­ham­mad Amir is still side­lined af­ter his re­cent poor form while an­other pace­man, Wa­hab Riaz, was dropped af­ter go­ing wicket-less in the first Test against Aus­tralia last month.

Also left out of the squad is opener Fakhar Za­man, who made his de­but in the sec­ond Test against Aus­tralia in Abu Dhabi last month, scor­ing 94 and 66 – ap­par­ently to rest his knee in­jury.

Left-han­der Saad Ali was se­lected again af­ter his hun­dred for Pak­istan ‘A’ against New Zealand ‘A’ in Abu Dhabi this week but there was no place for Shan Ma­sood who hit cen­turies in each in­nings of the first game be­tween the ‘A’ teams last month.

8-39 Sha­heen’s fig­ures from de­but first-class in­nings

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