Shaheen Afridi relishes his Pakistan new-ball partnership with Hasan Ali

Shaheen Afridi

Pakistan fast bowler Shaheen Afridi says he enjoys bowling with Hasan Ali whom he credits with helping him put opponents under pressure in Test cricket.

Since Shaheen burst onto the scene, he has been paired with a number of quicks but appears to enjoy bowling with Hasan; an experienced quick with great control.

“I enjoy bowling with him [Hasan Ali]. This year he has 39 wickets, I have 44. We bowl in partnership and plan between ourselves,” Afridi told a press conference in Dhaka on the eve of the second Test against Bangladesh.

Hasan is renowned for his fighting spirit and intensity and Shaheen, who is a calmer character, feeds off of that fire.

“This is why I enjoy bowling with him. He is a fighter,” Shaheen said while explaining how the pair are continuously in communication while bowling together.

Shaheen and Hasan each bagged five wicket hauls in Pakistan’s win over Bangladesh in the first Test played in Chittagong.

Hasan claimed 5-51 in the first innings as Pakistan skittled Bangladesh for 330, while Afridi’s 5-32 in the second innings kept the target within the visitors’ reach.

“The wickets in Asia are more or less slow. People say spinners get more assistance here. But if you are physically strong and have the strength it is possible to be effective here. You need to bowl in a partnership,” Afridi added.

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Bangladesh should be desperate to make a comeback in the second Test of the series, but Shaheen has promised them no let-up from Pakistan.

“Momentum is good and the team combination is also brilliant,” he said. “The boys are ready for the second Test. Of course, we will fight and end the series on a good note.”

Shaheen has enjoyed a great year in Test cricket and recently broke into the top five of the Test rankings for bowlers.

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The 21-year-old will play his 21st Test for Pakistan if selected to face Bangladesh in the second Test at the Shere-e-Bangla National Stadium in Shaka.

Despite being six years Shaheen’s senior, Hasan has only played 16 Tests due in part to fitness issues, but is in the form of his life right now across all formats.