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Pakistan set to hand Naseem maiden Test cap against Australia
Newest fast-bowling phenom

Pakistan set to hand Naseem maiden Test cap against Australia

Naseem Shah is yet to make his international debut but such has been the hype around the young sensation that everybody is compelled to take notice of his wizardry.

The 16-year-old is recovering from the biggest jolt of his life; his mother passed away a week ago but the youngster still pulled himself together, showed tremendous valour by featuring in the practice games and managed to made the ball talk in Perth ahead of the high octane clash against Australia on Thursday this week.

"The best thing about Naseem Shah is the control he has on his bowling," head coach Misbah-ul-Haq told cricket.com.au.

"He has a very good bowling action and knows which deliveries to bowl. He can bowl with very good control. He knows his stuff and bowled really well in the first-class matches he played this season. 

Misbah-ul-Haq is startled with Naseem's dexterity at such a tender age and it looks like he has already made the cut - inferring from Misbah's statements.

"He's bowled well here too and is the standout bowler for us. The way he's been bowling, he can be a match-winner for us," Misbah added.

Pakistan hasn't shied away from throwing rookies in the mix as six of the 10 youngest players to ever play Test cricket have hailed from the country. However, Naseem is stunned with grief at the moment after the demise of his mother which is tough on anyone, let alone a teenager but he has found a support group in his teammates.

"He spoke to his family and they said 'this is where your mum would have wanted you to be," Pakistan Cricket Board chief executive Wasim Khan told the Sydney Morning Herald.

Wasim shared how everybody in the dressing room is helping the youngster and making sure he is okay.

"Everyone has rallied around him, keeping a close eye on him, making sure he's okay.

"He's got a few confidantes in the team that he can go to if he's feeling low or not feeling great. He wanted to stick it out," Wasim Khan remarked.

Naseem is seriously short of domestic cricket experience — taking into account that he has only played seven first-class games although he did well in the audition Down Under and has been a consistent performer in his short career. He is regarded as a bowling machine who can bowl at the same spot time and again and can trouble the batsman with his searing bumper.

Having said that, it remains to be seen how he negotiates with the enervating demands of five days of relentless top-level cricket against the heavyweights of red-ball cricket such as David Warner and Steve Smith.

Smith, who is at the pinnacle of his career, isn't perturbed a wee bit about the promising cricketer. The bugbear of all bowling attacks said it will be an interesting prospect to see a 16-year-old in action.

"He's half my age. It'll be interesting ... 16 is young," Smith told reporters.

"I dare say you'd be pretty nervous at 16 playing a Test match, particularly away from home. He's obviously got some skill if they're picking him and you don't take anyone lightly," Smith added.

Smith has revealed his plans on making the teen wear down at the Gabba before he loses his venom and that's when Australia batsmen will try to pounce on his inexperience. 

Naseem, who is construed as the newest fast-bowling phenom, may capitulate under the weight of expectations considering the ballyhoo around him.

"For us we'll be trying to get as many overs into him as possible and trying to wear him down. He wouldn't be used to bowling lots and lots of overs, so that'll be the plan."