Arguably Pakistan’s best bowler in white-ball cricket at the moment, the left-arm pacer has been a mainstay in the Playing XI since making his debut for the national side in 2018.
In 2018 ICC U-19 World Cup, Shaheen Shah Afridi was named in the squad for Pakistan cricket team. He performed exceedingly well for Pakistan and finished the competition as leading wicket-taker with 12 wickets at an average of 14.58.
After consistently good performances, Shaheen Shah was signed for Lahore Qalandars for the 2018 Pakistan Super League. Since his debut for franchise, he was been bankable performer for the side along with Haris Rauf.
The 22-year old has certainly raised his game and performed exceedingly well for Pakistan in different conditions. The pacer does have the ability to swing the new-ball both ways and can execute Yorkers at will in the later stages of the innings.
Since 2018, Shaheen Shah Afridi is one of the mainstays of Pakistan’s pace bowling in white-ball cricket. Let’s take a look at the progress of Shaheen Shah Afridi in the 20-over format.
Meteoric rise to the top
Left-arm quick made his T20I debut for Pakistan against West Indies at National Stadium in Karachi in 2018. In his debut game, he bowled well and conceded 27 runs in his four overs.
In 2018, Shaheen Shah performed exceedingly well in the T20I series played against Australia and New Zealand in the UAE.
Numbers in the T20 Format
Since making his debut, Shaheen Shah Afridi has claimed 58 wickets in 47 T20I matches at an average of 22.37. He has one four-wicket haul in his T20I career.
Shaheen Shah Afridi has produced excellent performances for Pakistan with the ball in home and away conditions. Playing in home conditions, Afridi has claimed 10 wickets in nine matches at an average of 23.70
In terms of record against the oppositions, Afridi’s best numbers are against Australia, where he has claimed eleven wickets in six matches at a strike-rate of 12.5.
Shaheen Shah Afridi’s best bowling figures in T20 format in an innings came against Bangladesh where he finished with figures of 4 for 22 in 2022 World Cup game played at Adelaide Oval.
Since December 2019, Shaheen Shah Afridi has shown consistency for Pakistan in the T20I format. He has picked up 44 wickets in 37 matches at an average of 22.95.
2022 T20 World Cup
Shaheen Shah Afridi’s outing in the ICC T20 World Cup will be remembered, both for his never-say-die attitude and his actual performances on the field.
The left-arm pacer was clearly short of match practice when he joined the squad for the mega-event after spending months on the sidelines because of a knee injury.
In the first match against India, he finished wicketless which was the only match in the competition where there was no achievement next to his name. He conceded a lot of runs in the final stages of the innings against India and clearly lacked pace due to his knee injury.
Excellent performances against Bangladesh, South Africa and New Zealand
From there on, he got better and better with every passing game and eventually finished with 11 wickets to his name, the joint-highest by a Pakistan bowler in the competition alongside leggie Shadab Khan.
The most impressive thing from the left-armer was his economy-rate of 6.15, which was the lowest amongst all the bowlers from the Men-in-Green in the competition.
In the semi-final clash against New Zealand, Shaheen Shah Afridi produced an excellent spell with the new-ball and dismissed the likes of Finn Allen and Kane Williamson.
Eventually, it was his injury in the final while taking the catch of Harry Brook on the bowling of Shadab which sealed Pakistan’s fate in the mega-event as he could not bowl 11 out of 24 legal balls allowed in the match, something that England capitalized on and won the final with an over to spare.
Overall, Shaheen will look back at the competition with fond memories, which included his best figures of 4-22 against Bangladesh in a virtual quarterfinal in Adelaide on November 06.
Due to knee injury, Shaheen has been ruled out of the upcoming Test series against England. He recently underwent appendicitis surgery and will rest for atleast three weeks. He will also be looking to get fit in time for the series against New Zealand.