KARACHI - Pakistan cricket team’s bowling coach Shaun Tait has appreciated young pacer Naseem Shah saying that the 19-year-old Pakistani reminds him of his own younger days but added that he wasn’t as intelligent as Naseem is at this age. 

“In some ways, Naseem Shah reminds me of myself when I was a younger cricketer. He’s sort of free-spirited. But I wasn’t as intelligent as he is at this age. I think you’ve all seen his natural abilities and skill with the new ball, which is excellent,” said Shaun Tait during a press conference here on Saturday, when he was asked about Naseem’s performance against India in T20 Asia Cup’s first match. 

The former Australian pacer also praised Pakistan’s pace battery, saying, “Pakistan fast bowlers have their natural abilities. They like to keep things simple but they’ve got so much ability and have a lot of flair. So, that’s already ingrained in these guys.” 

The bowling coach believes that Haris Rauf has all boxes ticked and his recent improvement is a good sign for the team. He said he just discussed about consistency with Haris and probably the pacer made his coach satisfied. “The only thing we’ve been talking about is consistency. We just talk about how to remain consistent. “Haris has got pace, aggression so we often just talk about being consistent. Yes, we worked on his death bowling and he showed improvement in T20 Asia Cup as you said,” he said. 

He didn’t have much information on Shaheen Shah’s injury but he was confident for his return. “I actually don’t know about Shaheen much. He is going along well, that’s what I heard latest,” said the bowling coach, who missed training session yesterday due to feeling unwell. 

Replying to a question about Pakistan-England series, Tait said that he is expecting a sort of wicket which will be pretty good for wickets and he wouldn’t be surprised if such pitches are prepared for the seven-match series, which starts on September 20. 

MOEEN ALI ‘PROUD’ TO LEAD 

ENGLAND IN PAKISTAN T20S

All-rounder Moeen Ali on Sunday said that captaining England against Pakistan - where his family has roots - is a ‘huge and proud moment’. 

Birmingham-born Moeen Ali has captained England in T20s before but said leading the side on this tour is special. “Obviously with my roots being from here and to lead England in such a big series, a historic series is a huge and proud moment,” Ali told reporters. “My mum and dad, my friends and my family and community and everybody who I feel I represent is happy for me. Leading and playing for England anywhere and in any game is a huge honour.” 

Ali’s grandfather was from Mirpur in Azad Kashmir, and he spent some years of his childhood there. There are fears Buttler will miss the Pakistan series entirely, after suffering an injury during The Hundred tournament last month. “I am not sure (when Buttler will play), he is a bit more careful and maybe at the back end of the tour, he will play one or two games but it will depend on his progress. 

“We want him fully fit for the World Cup so we will not risk anything,” he said. Ali stated that despite the absences (of Liam Livingstone, Chris Jordan and Ben Stokes), England’s young side should be not underestimated, describing it as ‘a very good white-ball side’.