Yasir Shah reveals his agony on missing the 2016 Indo-Pak World T20 clash
Maverick leg-spinner looks back on the most testing episode of his career.
2016 has been an eventful year for Yasir Shah. After being suspended for three months due to breaching ICC’s Anti-Doping Code, the leg-spinner bounced back in style by bowling Pakistan to a memorable Test win at Lord’s.
However, the frustration of missing out on the 2016 World T20 is still in his mind. In a candid chat with ESPNCricinfo, the 30-year-old opened up on his amazing journey in the international circuit.
Shah reminisced, “I felt miserable. You blame yourself for what happened and for when things go wrong with the team. I watched the World T20 match against India and it was a spinner's wicket. R Ashwin bowled the first ball and it turned alarmingly. I felt so bad that I couldn't sleep all night. I was blaming myself, but you learn from these mistakes.”
Amidst all the hype surrounding the India-Pakistan clash at Eden Gardens, the pitch turned out to be quite conducive for spin. After restricting the visitors to 118, MS Dhoni’s men romped home in a comfortable manner.
But, Shah opted to look on the brighter side and expressed delight on getting his Test career off to a bang. From an obscure bowler in the domestic arena, he finally found a break when Saeed Ajmal’s action-related issues started to surface.
Yasir admitted, “Yes, but I was very sorry we lost Saeed Ajmal. He was our leading spin bowler and he was a big player for us. Whenever a player of that caliber is ruled out, the team is weakened. We really felt his loss even though I was playing. Also, if we'd played together he could have helped me.”
He added, “It might seem sudden but behind this is the result of 12 or more years of effort. If I'd lost heart whenever I lost my place, I wouldn't have got anywhere. Whenever there was a disappointment, I decided to work harder and perform better.“
The fascinating aspect about his bowling is that he seldom loses control of line and length. Shah credited tireless practice and a smooth action for enabling him to execute long spells.
The wrist-spinner quipped, “Practice is very important for a leg-spinner. You need to practice every day and that's how you get control. Also, you need a repeatable action. If your action doesn't fall away, you bowl in the same area, contain the batsman and make life more difficult for him.”