PAK vs NZ: Naseem Shah closes in on milestone

The right-armer is considered one of Pakistan’s most important bowlers

By Web Desk
April 15, 2024
Naseem Shah is just two scalps away from completing century of wickets. — AFP

Pakistani pacer Naseem Shah is closing in on reaching another milestone in his international career as the five-match T20I series against New Zealand nears.

Shah, 21, made his international debut for Pakistan in 2019, at the age of 16, against Australia in Test cricket. Soon after, he made his debut in ODIs and T20I cricket in August 2022 against the Netherlands and India respectively and has been the team’s important part since then.

Naseem Shah has 98 wickets in 50 international matches and he is now just two scalps away from entering the 100-wicket club alongside the likes of Mohammad Amir, Shaheen Shah Afridi and others.

Out of his 98 wickets so far, Sri Lanka remains the opponent to become Shah’s victim 24 times. New Zealand is on second with 23, while the Netherlands is in third with 11.

Shah has bagged 51 wickets in Test cricket, 32 in ODIs, and 15 in T20I cricket so far.

Remember, New Zealand's squad touched down in Islamabad on Sunday, meanwhile Pakistan team has also assembled in the federal capital after Eid-ul-Fitr holidays.

Trent Boult, Devon Conway, Lockie Ferguson, Matt Henry, Daryl Mitchell, Glenn Phillips, Rachin Ravindra, Mitch Santner and Kane Williamson won’t feature in the series due to Indian Premier League commitments.

On the other hand, pacer Mohammad Amir and all-rounder Imad Wasim, who recently reversed their retirement, have made a comeback in the Pakistan squad for the series.

Irfan Khan and Usman Khan have got the nod of selectors after impressive performances in the Pakistan Super League (PSL) season nine.

Pakistan squad

Babar Azam (c), Mohammad Rizwan (wk), Saim Ayub, Usman Khan, Iftikhar Ahmed, Azam Khan (wk), Imad Wasim, Shadab Khan, Shaheen Afridi, Naseem Shah, Mohammad Amir, Abbas Afridi, Abrar Ahmed, Fakhar Zaman, Irfan Khan Niazi, Usama Mir, Zaman Khan

Reserves: Haseebullah, Mohammad Ali, Agha Salman, Sahibzada Farhan, Mohammad Wasim Jr.

New Zealand squad

Michael Bracewell (c), Mark Chapman, Josh Clarkson, Jacob Duffy, Dean Foxcroft, Ben Lister, Cole McConchie, Jimmy Neesham, Will O’Rourke, Tim Robinson, Ben Sears, Tim Seifert (WK), Ish Sodhi, Tom Blundell, Zak Foulkes.

Pakistan vs New Zealand T20I series schedule

April 18 — 1st T20I, Rawalpindi

April 20 — 2nd T20I, Rawalpindi

April 21 — 3rd T20I, Rawalpindi

April 25 — 4th T20I, Lahore

April 27 — 5th T20I, Lahore