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Wasim Akram gives verdict on Naseem Shah

The legendary former pacer claimed that his young age was a blessing in disguise

PHOTO: File

Pakistan’s legendary former pacer Wasim Akram, in an interview with foxsports.com.au, believed that 16-year-old pace bowling sensation Naseem Shah would be raring to go against Australia, after skipper Azhar Ali confirmed that the youngster would be part of the Men in Green’s squad in their first Test, which starts on Thursday.

Akram claimed that Naseem’s young age was a blessing in disguise as the fast-bowler would not feel the pressure usually associated with international cricket.

“I think it’s a blessing in disguise because when you’re 16-17, you don’t even know what the word pressure means,” said Akram. “You just want to go out and play. When I was 17, I didn’t know what pressure meant, I was loving it. I think the same goes for Naseem. When he becomes a star he’ll know what pressure means. At this age, he’ll just be raring to go.”

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The former left-arm pacer, however, stated that the young pace sensation would require the assistance of his captain inorder to thrive.

“A 16-year-old doesn’t know how to set the field, they just won’t. That’s where the captain comes in particularly valuable. I had Imran Khan, I had Javed Miandad and they were a great help,” he said.

Earlier, Pakistan’s skipper Azhar Ali revealed, in a press conference on Wednesday, that Naseem will be part of Pakistan’s lineup for the first Test.

We are definitely looking to play him," said Azhar. "He’s bowling really well. We’ll announce the side tomorrow but he’s definitely going to be part of it.”

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Azhar also heaped praise on the rookie pacer by admiring the talent he possessed with the ball.

"Not many players can reach that standard so early but there are exceptions and he’s one of them. We are all looking forward to him having a very successful career,” he said. “When I saw him first I was so surprised ... the control he had, the pace he had and on top of it all the temperament and the composure when he bowls is so exciting to see."