Image courtesy of: ESPNcricinfo
Pakistan bowling coach Waqar Younis has revealed that left-arm seamer Shaheen Shah Afridi needs to work on putting “the ball in the right place on a regular basis, not every now and then”.
Afridi starred in the 2019 World Cup as he took 16 wickets in five matches at an average of 14.62.
In Pakistan’s World Cup game against Bangladesh, Afridi finished with figures of 6-35 off 9.1 overs.
As a result, the 19-year-old not only became the youngest bowler to take a five-wicket haul in a World Cup match, but also registered the best figures by a Pakistan player in a World Cup game.
In the two-Test series against Australia, he was Pakistan’s highest wicket-taker with five wickets an average of 36.80.
He also took the most wickets for Pakistan in the two-Test series against Sri Lanka as he claimed eight wickets at an average of 23.25.
“Fitness is key for fast bowlers and that should never be overlooked. This group of pace bowlers are mainly teenagers and are still growing as men,” Waqar told PakPassion. “Fitness is the number one priority and in the last few months Shaheen has worked really hard and that’s why you are seeing him bowling long spells as he was doing in Australia and against Sri Lanka.
“We are taking care of his recovery time in between matches, as we are with the other pace bowlers we have. Shaheen is a smart cricketer, and what he needs to do is to put the ball in the right place on a regular basis, not every now and then. He’s learning quickly and what is good is that the competition for places is there and competition amongst fast bowlers is also there which I feel was lacking in the recent past.
“This competition amongst themselves on the field is a plus point as the bowlers learn from each other. Shaheen and the other boys can look at the likes of Dale Steyn, James Anderson and Stuart Broad, and take note of the number of years they have been around and how they are still going strong and performing well.”