Talented left-arm fast bowler Shaheen Afridi is set to kickstart his Test career with a debut in the series-deciding encounter at Abu Dhabi against New Zealand.
An unfortunate shoulder injury to the immensely skillful Mohammad Abbas during the second Test at Dubai has paved way for an opportunity for Shaheen to wear the Test whites for Pakistan, with the tussle against New Zealand leveled 1-1.
"If I get a chance I will do my best. I always had belief in my ability and in my hard work although I didn't expect my chance will come in Tests so early," the 18-year-old told AFP on Saturday, December 1.
Shaheen has also had a good start to his First-Class career back home where he claimed 8/39 in a spell bowled during a Quaid-e-Azam Trophy match, which is also best figures for a Pakistan bowler on red-ball debut.
His rise to the Pakistan team began at home in Landi Kotal, a town in the Khyber District, close to the border with Afghanistan, where his elder brother Riaz who played one Test for Pakistan in 2000, gave him his first bowling lessons, has been quite inspiring, to say the least.
1.98 meter tall, Shaheen first came into limelight with his exploits in the ICC U-19 Cricket World Cup in New Zealand, earlier this year.
"My brother was my role model who taught me how to bowl and how to approach cricket with a positive frame of mind. I owe my success to him," he further said, "Test cricket is the ultimate so matching the great Wasim's feat will motivate me a lot and just like I do in limited over matches, I will try to take wickets for my team to win the series."
"Our bowling coach Azhar Mahmood, coach Mickey Arthur, and others have helped me a lot and have worked very hard on me so I am ready to deliver my best," he signed off.
Shaheen also picked up seven wickets in Pakistan A's unofficial Test against the visiting England Lions, recently.
Following their narrow miss in the first Test with a dominating performance in the second, Pakistan leveled the series 1-1. The third Test at Abu Dhabi starts on Monday, December 3.