If some were known for their swing, some others were known for their raw pace, if some could move the new ball both ways, others were brilliant exponents of reverse swing.
Few things are more exciting in cricket than watching a genuine fast bowler running in and bowling an unplayable delivery, making batters dance to his or her tunes. And Pakistan male pacers have been known for this over the decades.
In this edition of the Asia Cup, Pakistan’s squad has been severely dented due to the absence of their current pace spearhead Shaheen Afridi due to a knee injury, but they still have five seamers in their squad.
Pakistan’s pace attack in the Asia Cup maybe thin on T20 internationals exposure, but Naseem Shah (19), Mohammad Wasim Jr (21), Mohammad Hasnain (22), Shahnawaz Dahani (24) and Haris Rauf (28) have enough firepower in their deliveries to trouble any opposition.
TimesofIndia.com here takes a detailed look at each of the Pakistani pacers in the Asia Cup squad this time:
The youngest, the latest and the fastest of the lot. The 19-year-old Naseem Shah became the ninth youngest player to play Test cricket for Pakistan.
Naseem Shah (AFP Photo)
Naseem was also the second-youngest bowler and the youngest pacer to take a five-wicket haul in a Test, and also the youngest bowler to take a hat-trick in a Test match.
Naseem’s ability to swing and seam the ball at high speeds makes him an exciting prospect. Genuine pace, regardless of the surface, is always difficult to handle for batsmen. Naseem has played 13 Tests and 3 ODIs so far and is yet to make his T20I debut for Pakistan. Expect him to get that maiden cap in their first match vs India on Sunday.
22-year-old pace bowler Mohammad Hasnain replaced Shaheen Afridi in the Pakistan squad for the Asia Cup.
Hasnain is said to be among the fastest bowlers in Pakistan at the moment and has clocked deliveries at 150kph and can also swing the ball at deadly pace.
Mohammad Hasnain (AFP Photo)
Hasnain was banned from bowling internationally in January after his action was reported during a stint in Australia’s domestic Big Bash League, but was cleared to return in June after remodelling his action. He is yet to play a Test match for Pakistan.
24-year-old Shahnawaz Dahani bowled his fastest delivery at 149kph in his second T20I played against the West Indies at the National Stadium in Karachi on December 16, 2021.
Shahnawaz Dahani (AFP Photo)
Though Dahani took only 1 wicket in that spell, he conceded just 23 runs off 4 overs.
With a B.Com degree to his name, Dahani uses his 6’2” height to hurry the batters with fast and well-directed short-pitched deliveries to dry up the runs.
As a student, Haris Rauf was more interested in football than cricket. But when he was reluctantly attending the trials for the Lahore Qalandars on the insistence of his coach, he was spotted by former pacer Aaqib Javed for his pace and Javed urged him to play grade cricket in Australia.
Haris Rauf (AFP Photo)
Incredibly, in 2019, Rauf replaced his hero Dale Steyn in the Melbourne Stars squad in the Big Bash League and took 20 wickets, including a hat-trick.
Since then Rauf has risen through the ranks to play international cricket for Pakistan. And now a 28-year-old Rauf finds himself as the most experienced pacer in the Pakistani line-up for the Asia Cup.
Rauf can easily bowl over the 140kph mark and also has a shrewd slower ball in his arsenal.
MOHAMMAD WASIM JR
21-year-old Mohammad Wasim junior is the bowling all-rounder in the Pakistan side. He was also part of the 2020 Under-19 World Cup squad.
Mohammad Wasim junior (AFP Photo)
Wasim was impressive in the home series against Australia this March, in which he took five wickets in three ODIs as Pakistan came from behind to win the series.
On Thursday, Wasim complained of pain in his lower back and had to be taken for an MRI scan, making his appearance doubtful in the match against India on Sunday.