Pacer can’t scare batter with speed only: Naseem Shah

The 20-year-old expressed his disappointment with the Quetta Gladiators’ performance in the ongoing season

Pacer can’t scare batter with speed only: Naseem Shah PHOTO: AFP

Pakistan’s most sought-after fast bowler, Naseem Shah, believes line and length is as important for a pacer as speed.

While talking to Cricket Pakistan, the 20-year-old expressed his disappointment with the Quetta Gladiators’ performance in the ongoing season.

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“I believe we are not playing as good as we expected as a team - in all three departments - batting, bowling, and fielding. But we are trying. Moreover, it is not easy as a player; when your team is not performing up to the mark, rest days seem even more challenging because you are not enjoying them anymore,” Naseem said.

He also talked about his association with Muhammad Hasnain and how speed is not the only factor that can land you a win in the T20 format.

“I have played with Hasnain for quite a long time - from the national team to those under 19 days. However, we often discuss that in order to prove yourself, you should focus and deliver a performance that results in a team win. You rarely get to win matches with a specific batting or bowling performance. You must give your all as a bowling unit - whether fast bowlers or spinners. As a bowling unit, we can make our team win matches, especially Hasnain and me; through our fast bowling, we will try our level best to achieve the team's victory,” he said.

“You can't be glued to only one factor. No doubt speed is essential. But speed is only crucial when your line length is adequate. Just like a medium pacer, their line length is perfectly retained. On the contrary, a fast bowler, delivering at 145 or 150 kph, consistently cannot bowl in the same area, similar to a medium pacer. But you can be dangerous - particularly when you know about the variations - when to swing the ball, especially in Pakistan, where the pitches behave indifferently. You cannot scare the bowler here only with pace; you must use your brains wisely, particularly in T20s. Other factors, including pace, are equally important because any slight mistake will make you concede boundaries. So, all of these elements are essential other than speed,” he added.

When the 20-year-old was asked about his workload and how hectic it is to play all three formats continuously, he said.

“I am trying to manage the workload efficiently. If you see, I have constantly been playing since the Asia cup, but you cannot excuse franchise cricket when your team needs you, and you are their pivotal bowler. Besides that, I only get a little time to rest. However, I am taking care of that with proper gym and diet. But I am in contact with my physiotherapist, and we shall see how we can manage the workload in a better way.”

Young pacer also talked about his inspirations in the bowling department and discussed why fame and success should be balanced.

“In simpler terms, I have always been inspired by Shane Warne and wanted to become like him one day. However, gradually when I got to work amongst the likes of Waqar Younis and Umar Gul, I learned new techniques, especially for T20,” he said.

“With fame comes great responsibility. I have always prayed to Allah to only grant the success and responsibility I can handle well. I stay humble and maintain my family's reputation because I have seen hard times before entering cricket, which has taught me a lot. I try and pray that I am never a source of agony in any capacity to anyone,” he added.