Pakistani teen sensation Shadab Khan, who made his international debut in the recently concluded T20I series against West Indies, has been named in the Test squad for the upcoming three-match series, starting April 21.
The 18-year-old legspinner took the world by storm with his Man of the Match winning performance in the opening T20I, picking up magical figures of 3 for 7 to star in Pakistan’s six-wicket win. He followed it up with another Man of the Match award when he bettered his figures in the second T20I with 4 for 14. He ended the series with ten wickets to his credit.
Earlier in the day, former Pakistan legspinner Mushtaq Ahmed, who is currently serving as Pakistan National Cricket Academy’s head coach, said that Shadab Khan should be included in the national Test squad, and play alongside Yasir Shah.
“I think the focus of selection committee and all of us is that why can’t two legspinners play in one match?” Mushtaq had said. “If they have different variations and both could become match-winners, then why not? Two legspinners against a western team will have a positive impact, especially in one-day cricket if we have a legspin option in the middle overs who could take wickets.
“Like I started my career with Qadir, then Iqbal Sikander and myself played together in the  World Cup, then Shahid Afridi and Danish Kaneria played together.
Shadab follows the line of fine legspinners that Pakistan have produced in the last three decades, and it isn’t a rarity that they have played two of them in one match. Mushtaq Ahmed, who played alongside Abdul Qadir, Shahid Afridi and Danish Kaneria, believed the 18-year-old would gain invaluable learnings playing with Yasir, who has established himself as Pakistan’s finest and one of the best in the world currently.
“Shadab has good variations, but 50 overs and five-day formats are totally different. I think he has all the variations. He had a lot of communication with Yasir also during the [pre-tour conditioning] camp [last month]. He’s a good listener and has a good temperament and if he stays with Yasir he will improve more. But it’s too early to predict about Shadab, how he will play in Test matches. Yasir has proved himself over the last two years and he has no match. He [Shadab] could learn from Yasir like I learnt from Qadir bhai and then Danish learnt from me when I was his senior.”
Apart from his bowling, Shadab is also developing his game with the bat. In four first-class matches, he has already stroked a century.
Pakistan squad Misbah-ul-Haq (c), Ahmed Shehzad, Azhar Ali, Shan Masood, Babar Azam, Younis Khan, Asad Shafiq, Sarfraz Ahmed (w), Usman Salahuddin, Yasir Shah, Shadab Khan, Mohammad Asghar, Mohammad Amir, Wahab Riaz, Hasan Ali, Mohammad Abbas