Yasir Shah’s Potential Replacements

Alzarri Joseph
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Yasir Shah’s Potential Replacements

With Yasir Shah ruled out of the upcoming Test tour of Ireland and England due to a hip bone injury which will have him sidelined from cricket for a minimum of 10 weeks. This is a massive set back for Pakistan as the 31 year old leg-spinner has been the go to bowler for them in Tests and was instrumental in drawing the series against England and claiming the number one spot in Test in 2016.

Since his debut for Pakistan in 2014, Yasir Shah has taken 165 wickets in 28 matches. The leg spinner holds a great record against England. In the six Tests he has played against them so far, he has picked up 34 wickets at a strike rate of 63.88 with two 5 wicket hauls. His best performance against them is 6-72 which came in Lords in 2016. Here we look at some of the potential candidates who can replace Yasir Shah.

Shadab Khan

A 19 year old leg spinner, Shadab Khan was an integral part of Pakistan’s limited over setup and has been instrumental in their recent white ball successes in the last few months. He has given some notable performances with the ball in crucial situation and has also proved his mettle with the bat.
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Shadab Khan made his test debut last year in April, against the West Indies but didn’t impress. Most of the pundits were of the view that it was too early for him to be playing Test cricket. With a year of valuable international experience on his back and someone with a ‘never say die attitude’ he can surely replace Yasir shah in the playing eleven.

Bilal Asif

Bilal Asif, the off spinner from Sialkot, has represented Pakistan in One-Day Internationals against Zimbabwe in 2015, with a five-for in the third ODI but has been off the radar since then. He was first selected for the Test series against Sri Lanka but could not make it in the playing eleven. Bilal Asif can be deceptive with his length and can create trouble for the batsmen with his height as well.
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After Saeed Ajmal’s retirement from the game, Pakistan have been struggling to find a quality off spinner in their ranks and this might be the reason that selectors have shown faith in him by naming him in the initial 25 member squad despite not having a good domestic season.

Muhammad Asghar

Another left arm bowler who caught the selectors’ attention after a series of good performances in the Pakistan Super League. He was a part of the Test squad against the Windies and Sri Lanka last year but wasn’t given an opportunity.

Muhammad Asghar has so far taken 89 wickets in 23 matches at an average of 26.96. Rated highly in the domestic circuit because of economical spells and his ability to turn the ball, he can prove to be a good option to have in the bowling department.

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