Recently ESPNcricinfo held a poll regarding the current ‘Best Spinner’ in Tests. One of the contenders was Pakistan’s very own leg-spinner, Yasir Shah.
Yasir was in competition with India’s off-spinner Ravichandran Ashwin, Bangladesh’s Shakibal Hasan, slow left-arm orthodox Rangana Herath of Sri Lanka and Nathan Lyon of Australia.
ESPNcricinfo posted the result on their Facebook page today which announced Yasir Shah as the winner.
A legspinner who also bats a bit, Yasir was a little shy of his 16 birthday when he made his first-class debut, however, it would be after another nine years before he played his first international for Pakistan against Zimbabwe in 2011.
Since then Yasir’s performances have been praised by cricketers, current and former, national and domestic alike.
Veteran cricketer Younus Khan said Yasir was an excellent find who would emerge to be a really good cricketer for the country.
Australian leg-spin legend Shane Warne had tweeted last year after watching Yasir bowl on television:
“I like the look of this leggie Yasir Shah, plenty of energy and nice variations of pace.”
Yasir said he derived his confidence from the words of Warne, whom he regards as his idol.
“His words actually put me under pressure to live up to his appreciation and it has been good so far,” said the 29-year-old Yasir.
In the recently concluded series between Pakistan and Sri Lanka, the leggie outdid the hosts; his 24 wickets in three matches are a testament of his sheer class.
Yasir is being touted as a key player for the matches scheduled against England in UAE in October as Pakistan all-rounder Azhar Mahmood has said that Yasir will be the ‘key for Pakistan’.
“He’s been so impressive since his introduction to international cricket and is such an attacking bowler. Yasir has proved that he can handle the pressure, his confidence will be very high and he is now the leader of Pakistan’s spin attack,” said Azhar.
“England aren’t the best at playing spin especially leg-spin and I think Yasir will have a major say in the outcome of the Test series. I think Yasir’s box of tricks will cause the England batsmen a lot of problems.”