Image courtesy of: ESPNcricinfo
Former Pakistan all-rounder Abdul Razzaq has admitted that once the hype around the pace trio of Shaheen Shah Afridi, Naseem Shah and Muhammad Musa dies down, they may be dropped from the national team if they fail to perform in one or two matches.
Afridi and Naseem recently starred in the two-Test series against Sri Lanka.
Afridi was the most successful Pakistan bowler in the series with eight wickets at an average of 23.25.
Naseem finished with seven wickets at an average of 27.71, but also made history in the second Test in Karachi, which Pakistan won by 263 runs.
The 16-year-old dismissed Kusal Mendis, Dinesh Chandimal, Dilruwan Perera, Lasith Embuldeniya and Vishwa Fernando to become the youngest pace bowler to take a five-for in Test cricket.
Musa, meanwhile, made his debut during the tour of Australia, but went wicketless in the one Twenty20 International and one Test he played.
“I, like every other Pakistan well-wisher, am pleased about the emergence of these young fast bowlers,” Razzaq told PakPassion. “However, as they say, empty vessels make the most noise and we are seeing a lot being said about these bowlers without them having played much cricket or performed well.
“What we need to do now is to give these youngsters some time to develop and show their skills, and most of all we need to give them motivation and confidence to succeed. Instead of going by statements from the media where everyone is praising these bowlers about how fast they can bowl and so on, what we need to look at is how well they are performing in international games.
“For that, these bowlers need to be given time but unfortunately, our media is prone to making big statements and putting pressure on the players. So, if the bowler bowls a good bouncer, it is made to look as if he was raining fire on the batsman. The focus needs to be not on what pleases the media but on actual performances and the creation of records like those achieved by Wasim Akram, Waqar Younis or Shoaib Akhtar.
“To be honest, I am worried that once the hype dies down and these youngsters don’t perform in one or two matches, they will be taken out of the side and discarded which will be the wrong way to proceed.”