Karachi [Pakistan]: Former Australian cricketer Dean Jones believes that 18-year-old Pakistan leg spinner Shadab Khan, who has made a dream start to his international career, is good enough to play in the longest-format of the game for the national side. Shadab celebrated a dream debut for Pakistan, claiming three wickets in his side’s six-wicket win over West Indies in the opening T20 in Port of Spain. He continued his match-winning contribution with the ball in the second match as well, finishing with the figures of four for 14 during Pakistan’s nerve-wracking three-run win. FULL CRICKET SCORECARD: Pakistan vs West Indies, 3rd T20I at Port of Spain
Offering his support to Shadab, Jones insisted that the young Pakistan star might not do well initially, but he would surely turn out to be a successful player in the Test format in the long run. “That would be fantastic news if he is picked for the Test squad and why not. Let’s get him in there, he’s good enough. Look it’s possible he may not do too well in there initially but on the other hand, he may well be very successful,”PakPassion.net quoted Jones as saying.
“I would hate to pigeon hole someone like Shadab as a specialist Twenty20 or One-Day cricketer if he can play all forms of the game. Obviously, it puts pressure on Yasir Shah whose fielding hasn’t been that good of late and he hasn’t made many runs as well and most importantly, he does not have a wrong’un like Shadab does,” he added. The 56-year-old did not stop there and went on claim that Shadab is probably the best fieldsman in the Pakistan side at the moment.
“We admire and talk about his bowling, but it’s worth mentioning that he is probably the best fieldsman in the Pakistan side at the moment. On top of that, he can bat too and some of those sixes he hit over cover in Dubai during the PSL were just breathtaking. These are the skills which make him the complete package,” he added.
Shadab was picked by Islamabad United for their title defence in the second edition of the Pakistan Super League (PSL) and within a period of a few weeks, he became one of the most talked about talents in the country. Having bagged nine wickets in a tournament labelled by many as one of the toughest T20 leagues in the world, there was no great surprise that the Pakistan selectors picked Shadab for both T20 and ODI squad.
Jones, who also mentored Islamabad United in the PSL, admitted that Shadab is an interesting player to coach before adding that he is also a good listener. “No, I am not. I always thought that he could do well. He is an interesting player to coach and I have said this before as well, that for an eighteen-year-old-kid he has the head of a thirty-year-old on him. He thinks about what the opposition players are about to do and most importantly, he is prepared to listen which is not what kids tend to do first-up. He has pretty much hit the ground running and yes, he will get whacked a few times in his career but Pakistan have something special there; they have a special kid and that’s for sure,” Jones said.
Shadab will aim to continue his good run when Pakistan will take on the Caribbean side in the final two matches at the weekend back at the same venue.