At one glance, he appears to be like Dennis Lillee. At another, he looks like Shane Bond. In yet another, there is a distinct tinge of Dominic Cork to his action. He is none of these, but could well go on to become as good as some of these in a few years down the lane. Meet Pakistan's sixteen-year-old pace bowling sensation, Naseem Shah.
The Pakistan bowling attack touring Australia is young and raw, but that could well prove to be an advantage if Naseem is an example of how raw they are.
"He's not as big as Dennis — Dennis was a big guy — but when he gets it right, he's a handful," Waqar Younis, Pakistan's bowling coach, said of Naseem. The teenage sensation lost his mother on Monday with Pakistan playing Australia A in a tour game.
While Naseem was given permission to go back home to attend the funeral and take part in the mourning, the fact that he wouldn't have reached before the funeral made him stay back in Australia.
But no, he wasn't mourning the death of his mother, not at least in public view. Instead, Naseem went on to rip open the Australian A side, some of which were Test cricketers, in a probing spell worth writing home about.
Such was the attention Naseem Shah drew that Cricket Australia’s twitter handle was buzzing with videos of his incredible showing. A brief summary of his spell shows how good and near-impossible it was to negotiate Naseem Shah.
His incredible performance drew instant comparisons to Shane Bond because of a very similar whippy action. Cricket Australia put up a comparison video which shows the two bowlers side by side and we just wouldn't have made out who is who if not for the ODI jersey Bond is wearing.
He only picked up a single wicket in his exceptional spell of fast bowling but it had the opponents and social media raving about the talent in him.
Unfortunately, he could have had one more wicket if Pakistan hadn't let go of a chance at slip of his bowling.
Naseem had hit the headlines earlier too when his raw pace became noted at junior levels. He impressed in the Pakistan colours for under-15 teams with his pace and missed out on a PSL debut earlier this year due to injury.
However, Misbah-ul-Haq's tenure as selector helped him get a nod ahead of some regular names and Naseem is here to delight. It is highly expected that he would start for Pakistan in the first Test against Australia later this month.
Feature image courtesy: Twitter / @ICC