Yasir Shah England’s biggest scare in UAE?

It doesn’t take an Einstein like brain to figure out that the English batsman are massive strugglers against spin bowling. And the threat of spin bowling would loom as big as it has ever been. Pakistan will face the three lions with a “never before faced” weapon, that promises to dismantle the English batting lineup.

Not long ago, almost 4 years back, England traveled to the UAE for a series against homeside Pakistan. Their first game was a warm up game against Pakistan Cricket Board XI. Although England ended up winning the match by a 100 runs, they lost 8 wickets to one bowler. Any guesses? “Yasir Shah”. England’s opening pair of Cook and Bell both had highly contrasting experiences against Shah. Cook made a brilliant century, while Bell couldnt cancel out his duck. Luckily, for the English, the warm up game was the last we all saw of Yasir Shah. Pakistan had the services of Ajmal and Abdul Rehman back then, so Shah’s benching was understandable. England were demolished in that series with a 3-0 whitewash, thanks to a combined effort of 43 wickets from Pakistan’s spin duo.

Ever since Saeed Ajmal and Mohammad Hafeez got their actions banned by the ICC, Pakistan cricket has suffered a bit of a downfall when it comes to the spin attack. However, like always, the men in green seem to have gotten themselves out of a fairly difficult period. The UAE series of 2015 is just a few days away, and it will feature the talismanic Pakistani leg spinner, Yasir Shah alive and kicking against the English Lions.

Years of hard work finally paying off?

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Yasir Shah has stepped onto the scene with a bang, and is breaking through all sorts of records. The question is, is Shah as good as everyone thinks he is? Some have even referred to him as the “Next Shane Warne”. Wow, that has to be the mother of all compliments!

Firstly, lets take a look at where Shah took over from. Saeed Ajmal, before being suspended, was the world’s greatest spin bowler. His void was not just “another” void, it was a void many thought Pakistan would never be able to fill again. But guess what, not only did Yasir Shah fill the void, he filled it in style!
Fastest Pakistani bowler to 50!

Yasir Shah has played only 10 Test matches so far, and his wicket tally has already gone onto 61! That is quite amazing, isnt it? It is a record, which showcases his name as the fastest Pakistan bowler in history to reach the 50 wicket mark. When we consider the heritage of Pakistan Test cricket, which featured the likes of Imran Khan, Waqar Younis, Abdul Qadir, Wasim Akram etc, the record is an unbelievable achievement on Yasir Shah’s part.
Apart from his onfield talent, Shah is a very humble person. In a recent interview after the Zimbabwe series he is reported to have said:

“I feel honored and I try my level best whenever I play. For me, it isn’t about winning or losing, its about playing. Because I never ever imaginedĀ I would be playing at this level”

Many of his close ones believe, Yasir Shah followed the great Aussie leg spin sensation, Shane Warne. Many legends and cricketing personalities have already compared Yasir Shah’s career start and bowling action to that of Shane Warne.

One thing that everybody would surely agree upon is that Yasir would be the best leg spinner England will face ever since the year 2007, when they played the legendary Anil Kumble. Moreover, the English batting lineup is way younger right now than it was in 2007. Only a few players from the current Three Lions starting lineup have faced Yasir Shah before, and that too in a warm up game in 2012. But this time around, not only will they see Yasir playing more than a warm up game, they should be expecting the Pakistan spin wizard to be on his absolute best, considering the matches are to played on UAE grounds.

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