Pakistan’s preferred leg-spinner in Tests, Yasir Shah, believes captain Sarfraz Ahmed’s limited-overs option Shadab Khan needs to play four-day cricket to further master the art of spin bowling.
Yasir, while talking to PakPassion, said Shadab’s variety is great.
“It’s a matter of great pride for me that there is another leg-spinner in our team who is performing so well,” said Yasir. “Shadab is an excellent leg-spinner and possesses a lot of variety in his bowling. He has a good googly and can also bowl an excellent flipper and slider too. I know that because we have both worked and practised together.”
He added that Shadab would improve further but he first needs to learn to be patient and only Test cricket can help him master that skill. “I feel that he will continue to improve further as he plays more matches for Pakistan,” he said. “What I would recommend is that he plays 4-day cricket. This experience will really help him in playing Test cricket, as in the longer format you really need a lot of patience to succeed. Bowling in long spells will provide him with a good idea of how to bowl in Tests.”
‘No mystery delivery’
Yasir was former Test captain Misbahul Haq’s main weapon against teams in the fourth innings and the leggie wants to further develop the deliveries in his armoury.
“At the moment, my emphasis is on making sure that my action is correct but I am also working on improving my googly,” said Yasir when asked if he is developing any mystery deliveries. “In the coming days, hopefully, people will see the results of my hard work. I feel that my googly is improving and will continue to get better.”
The 31-year-old, with his 149 wickets in just 26 Tests, is touted by many greats such as Australian legend Shane Warne to become the longest format’s greatest but Yasir wants to move forward step by step.
“I have aims for the future and plans in place to achieve them,” said Yasir. “At the moment, on top of my list, is the next Test series which we will play against Sri Lanka in the UAE. The next milestone for me personally is to get to the 200 Test wickets mark and you will see me working hard to achieve that in the future.”
Yasir has represented Pakistan in just 17 ODIs with only 18 wickets to his name and he thinks he needs to do a lot to enter into contention for the 50-over game once again.
“My objective is to perform well in whichever format I am asked to play in,” he said. “The idea is to put in my best efforts for Pakistan. To achieve that, I will aim to bowl the best I can in every league and domestic tournament so that the selectors can take note and pick me for the national team. It is my wish to make a comeback in the ODI format and I am trying hard to achieve that aim.”
Misbah, Younus irreplaceable
When Pakistan take on Sri Lanka in September one thing they will sure miss is Misbah and veteran batsman Younus Khan and Yasir believes whoever takes their place can never match their grandeur.
“There is no person who can be an exact replacement for both of these great players,” said Yasir. “One can only hope that some of our up and coming domestic players will try and fill the gaps left by Younus and Misbah.”
He added that the duo’s mature presence on the field was unparalleled. “Whilst there may well be replacement batsmen who can put in good performances in the future, what we will not find is the type of guidance that we took for granted when Misbah and Younus were playing with us. The manner in which they would approach you and the maturity in their advice which would motivate you to perform even better is something that was brilliant.”