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Keep Shadab Khan away from Tests: Yasir Arafat

Shadab has been snapped by Brisbane Heat for the forthcoming BBL season.

Shadab Khan
Shadab Khan of Trinbago Knight Riders. (Photo by Randy Brooks – CPL T20 via Getty Images)

In a short international career, Shadab Khan has already shown his immense potential. Picked to play the limited overs series in the Caribbean, Shadab displayed great control over his variations and was able enough to fox someone like Kieron Pollard. All of just 18, the leg-spinner has a bright future ahead.

Shadab to make BBL debut

Former Pakistan international Yasir Arafat lavished praises on the young bowler. He was pleased to learn about Shadab’s BBL selection by Brisbane Heat. Leg-spinners have excelled in the shortest format of the game, especially playing in Australia and this could be a perfect opportunity for the 18-year old to display his talents on the big stage. But Yasir warned PCB to not induct him into Tests too soon for his own good.

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“He has been a great find for Pakistan and continues to do well in the shorter formats of the game but the PCB would be well advised to keep him away from Tests until he has played enough first-class games. He needs to bowl some long spells which will help in muscle development required for bowling in the longer format of the game,” wrote Arafat in his latest blog for PakPassion.net.

So far, Shadab has played in just one Test where he could pick a solitary wicket after delivering 40 overs against the West Indies. He has played in 5 first-class games in all, picking 25 wickets at 31.12. Arafat has a valid point; he needs to develop his long format bowling skills before he plays in Test cricket. If he keeps getting hammered in the Tests then his confidence might get affected.

Arafat rubbishes overexposing fear

There has been a discussion on overexposing the young leg-spinner’s craft if he keeps playing in various T20 leagues around the world. Arafat rubbished the claims and said that playing in big tournaments like the BBL will only evolve Shadab.

“As far as participation in tournaments like BBL is concerned, I am of the view that this can only do good for Shadab’s development. I do not think that playing in such tournaments will overexpose Shadab to the opposition as this is how cricket is played all over the world. From one game alone, all that the opposition needs to know about you is available in videos and pitch-maps. You cannot hide a bowler by not letting him play in such tournaments,” wrote Arafat.

The road ahead of Shadab looks smooth but the right-arm bowler must not take things lightly. He must play as much as possible at this age to further sharpen his game. His ability to keep flighting the ball despite getting hammered set him apart from the rest of the spinners.

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