Pakistan’s go-to new ball bowler, Babar Azam pairing 20-year-old with Shaheen Shah Afridi

Babar Azam confirmed Naseem Shah is one of Pakistan's go-to new ball bowlers

Babar Azam: “Naseem Shah is our new ball bowler”

Image taken by Bimal Mirwani

Babar Azam, the Pakistan captain, confirmed that speedster Naseem Shah has become one of the team’s go-to “new ball bowler”.

Naseem has become a regular face in all three formats and usually opens the bowling with Shaheen Shah Afridi.

Azam’s confirmation of the 20-year-old being one of Pakistan’s new ball bowlers shows the amount of trust he has in the 20-year-old.

“Naseem Shah is our new ball bowler,” he told Cricwick.

Naseem’s rapid ascendance can be attributed to his natural wicket-taking abilities, which he put on show during the recent two-Test series against Sri Lanka, where he claimed nine wickets at an average of 23.

Currently, he is playing for the Colombo Strikers in the Lanka Premier League (LPL) and has taken 10 wickets in seven matches at an average of 19.40 and an economy rate of 7.32.

Naseem will soon be back in action for Pakistan as they will take on Afghanistan in a three-match ODI series, which will be played in Sri Lanka from August 22 to 26.

After that, the men in green will feature in the Asia Cup, which will be held in Pakistan and Sri Lanka from August 30 to September 17.

Pakistan Squad for Afghanistan ODI Series and 2023 Asia Cup: Babar Azam (capt), Shadab Khan, Mohammad Rizwan (wk), Fakhar Zaman, Abdullah Shafique, Imam-ul-Haq, Saud Shakeel (Afghanistan series only), Salman Ali Agha, Iftikhar Ahmed, Mohammad Nawaz, Usama Mir, Haris Rauf, Naseem Shah, Shaheen Shah Afridi, Tayyab Tahir, Mohammad Haris (wk), Faheem Ashraf, Mohammad Wasim Jnr

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