Coming in as replacement of Shoaib a challenge
Comeback medium pacer Shahid Nazir is aware he doesn’t have the pace of Shoaib Akhtar but promises that Pakistan can expect him to live up to the expectations in England this summer.
“It is a great challenge for me to fill in for Shoaib Akhtar,” the 28-year-old said in an interview on Friday after being preferred over Rao Iftikhar and Mohammad Khalil as a replacement for the injured Shoaib in the 16-man Pakistan squad for the series against England.
“There is no doubt that Shoaib is among the world’s fastest bowlers and is somebody who takes a lot of wickets. But I have a lot of confidence in my abilities and believe that I can play a useful role for my team in England,” said Shahid, who last played a Test for Pakistan way back in 1999.
Shahid said his staying away from Test cricket has not affected his abilities as a medium pacer.
“I have been regularly playing competitive cricket in Pakistan and abroad and in fact never lost hope of playing for Pakistan again,” he said.
Shahid is one of the six pacers selected for the tour of England and might spend most of the tour on the sidelines. The player hopes it won’t happen. “I am anxiously waiting for the opportunity to be in the playing line-up,” he said.
Shahid was not even a part of the 21-man preliminary squad Pakistan selected for the tour of England last month.
But his forceful showing on the domestic circuit last season, Shoaib’s injury and Pakistan captain Inzamam-ul-Haq’s strong support paved the way for his return to the national team.
Shahid added that he has ample experience of playing in England and hopes that it would be of some use for Pakistan.
The Faisalabad-born player made his international debut for Pakistan in 1996 but has since played in just eight Tests and 17 One-day Internationals (ODIs).
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