My teammates call me Lillee Shah and it motivates me: Naseem Shah

England v Pakistan: Day 5 - Second Test #RaiseTheBat Series
England v Pakistan: Day 5 - Second Test #RaiseTheBat Series
Srinjoy  Sanyal

Pakistan fast bowler Naseem Shah has revealed that he gets motivated when his teammates compare him with legendary Australian fast bowler Dennis Lillee due to the similarity between the pair's bowling actions. The 17-year-old is nicknamed 'Lillee Shah' in the Pakistan cricketing circles.

“He’s such a big legend. I just do my natural bowling and a legend like that has worked so hard...The senior players all show so much love for me as I’m the youngest in the team. They (my teammates) call me this and it motivates me that they have so much faith in me,” Naseem Shah told BBC.

Speaking about working under the guidance of Pakistan bowling coach Waqar Younis, Naseem Shah added he is not scared of the legendary fast bowler and that their relationship is not just restricted to cricket. The former Pakistan captain gives Naseem Shah life lessons, too.

Reminds me of Dennis Lillee: Waqar on Naseem Shah

Dennis Lillee Statue Unveiled at the MCG
Dennis Lillee Statue Unveiled at the MCG

In fact, it was Waqar who had drawn this comparison before being inducted as a Bradman Foundation honouree at the Sydney Cricket Ground last November.

"He's very talented - and he's smart. He's got a very good action, he's got good pace. He reminds me of Dennis Lillee actually. He's got a very similar action. He's not as big as Dennis - Dennis was a big guy - but when he gets it right, he's a handful," Waqar had told AAP.

It was on that tour that Naseem Shah accounted for David Warner on his Test debut in Brisbane. He picked up 5 wickets each in successive Tests versus Sri Lanka and Bangladesh at home, but has got a long way to go match Dennis Lillee’s tally of 355 wickets in 70 Tests.

Dennis Lillee made his way into Wisden’s five Cricketers of the Year for 1973 after picking 31 wickets in the 1972 Ashes in England.

Naseem Shah is featuring in the third Test against England in Southampton starting today, and hopefully he can leave behind a similar mark in the same country by propelling Pakistan to a series-leveling victory at the Ageas Bowl.

Edited by Shashwat Kumar


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