اردو

Shaheen, Naseem should not play together in Test cricket: Ajmal

Former cricketer believes young pace duo needs to play more domestic cricket

PHOTO: AFP

Former Pakistan off-spinner Saeed Ajmal is not in favour of playing young and inexperienced pacers, Shaheen Shah Afridi and Naseem Shah, together in a Test match for Pakistan.

While speaking to Cricket Pakistan in an exclusive interview, Ajmal said that the young duo needs to play more domestic cricket to improve their game in the longest format.

“Shaheen and Naseem are young and are still trying to prove their mettle. You need to go through the tough phase in domestic cricket to be able to perform in Test cricket. Shaheen and Naseem have hardly played a single season of domestic,” said Ajmal.

“In limited-overs cricket, you can play young cricketers, but you need experienced players to win you Test matches. You can have one young bowler rather than having a completely inexperienced attack. England team also played only one young pacer along with their experienced bowlers,” he added.

Former off-spinner also opened up about what went wrong for leg-spinner Yasir Shah in the three-match Test series against England.

“Yasir was bowling short of length in the Test series against England. His economy was on the higher side, which is why he was bowling under pressure to cover for it. He should have given the ball more loop and varied his pace. If a leg-spinner doesn’t bowl with loop then he gets hit for boundaries,” he said.

ALSO READ: PCB set to retain Younis Khan's services in coaching setup

Ajmal wasn’t impressed with all-rounder Shadab Khan’s performance on England tour and believes left-arm spinner Zafar Gohar would be a better investment in Test cricket for Pakistan.

“I don’t consider Shadab Khan suitable for Test cricket as a bowler. As far as T20 is concerned, he got hit for sixes in T20 as well. Economy is more important than wickets in T20 cricket so you need to focus more on bowling dot balls. If you give chances to batsmen in T20, then you will get hit for boundaries,” he said.

“In my opinion, Zafar Gohar is the best choice as a future spinner in Test cricket. He is a finger spinner and his ball spins as well. If he is given confidence, then Pakistan can get a very bright spinning prospect in future,” he added.

The 42-year-old believes Pakistan team management should rest senior players and give exposure to young cricketers during the upcoming home series against Zimbabwe.

“At least 50 per cent of youngsters should be tried against Zimbabwe as their team isn’t that strong. A young spinner can be tried in place of Imad Wasim so that we have a pool of spinners for future. However, we cannot afford to lose a match as well, so some seniors should be there in ODIs as they can guide the youngsters,” he said.

Finally, the former cricketer is not keen on working with any domestic team but made himself available for a coaching assignment with the national side.

“I don’t want to coach a domestic team right now since you have to push yourself and deal with a lot of hassle. If PCB wants to hire me for any position with the national team or for a short camp, then I am available,” he concluded.