Pakistan has a young pacer who made his mark by scaring the batsmen
He was a silver lining for Pakistan in an otherwise dismal U19 World Cup campaign.
Updated - Feb 13, 2018 6:20 pm
The Pakistan team was one of the favourites in the U19 World Cup 2018. Though they were knocked out after the semi-final against India who went on to win the championship eventually there were some positives for the team. One of the players who hogged the limelight was pacer Muhammad Musa.
He needed time to get going, in the first three games against Afghanistan, Ireland and Sri Lanka the right-arm medium pacer went wicket-less. Musa was economical nevertheless and the team persisted with him. It paid off in the 4th and crucial match against South Africa U19, he picked three wickets and ensured Pakistan a win in the quarter-final.
Batsmen were scared to face him
In the semi-final against the arch-rivals, the 17-year-old did his best, claimed a four-wicket haul but was expensive shelling 67 runs. The team lost the match and thus were knocked out of the tournament.
The Regional U19 trials were a crucial juncture in his career. To ensure the selectors took notice Musa bowled with all his strength and to an extent that some of the batters were even scared to face him. “I bowled with all my strength to scare a few batsmen. The selectors looked at my bowling and said that my selection was a must and I suppose my career took off from that point,” the youngster was quoted as saying by PakPassion.
In the nine matches in the Inter-Region U19 one-day and three-day competitions, he claimed 28 wickets which earned him a spot in the U19 Asia Cup side. He played five matches and took 9 wickets maintaining an economy of 3.71.
“I was always interested in bowling fast and when I first bowled at the club I didn’t know much about what length to bowl at and so bowled some short deliveries and hit one batsman on the ribs and another on his helmet; the coach quickly took the ball away from me and asked me to go easy with that type of bowling,” he stated.
Musa described the U19 WC experience as amazing. “It was an amazing experience taking part in a tournament like the U19 World Cup,” he said.
Wants to bowl fast
What brought him a lot of focus was the ability to clock in the higher 145kmph range. He sought assistance from the experts to fine tune his bowling action that’d help him generate optimum pace.
“I asked the officials and some experts about my bowling and specifically about any issues with my bowling action or run-up as I want to make sure everything is perfect with my bowling and they all told me that I was fine. These experts also said that if I continue bowling like this, I had the potential to increase my pace even further within one year. I have full faith in myself to achieve better speed with my bowling and God Willing will show more improvements in the future,” he stated.
He looks up to Waqar Younis and Shoaib Akhtar as his bowling role models and said: “These bowlers have done wonders for our country and I would like to do the same for Pakistan one day, God Willing,” Musa concluded.