Over the decades, cricket enthusiasts have observed a tendency of Pakistan cricket for bringing their teenage talent at the highest level.
Whether it’s Wasim Akram, Hasan Raza, or Shaheen Shah Afridi, Pakistan cricket is renowned to experiment with their youth in hot waters, very early in their career.
It’s where Indian cricket is slightly different from that of Pakistan. U19 World Cup of 2018 winners, Prithvi Shaw and Shubman Gill are still not regulars in the Indian team at the highest level.
Only a few fortunate ones, such as Sachin Tendulkar, have received backing from the Indian selectors and been given an opportunity, early on, in their career.
Similarly, the Pakistan selectors decided to provide an opportunity to yet another teenage sensation, in the form of Haider Ali.
Ali impressed one and all during his outings in the 2020 U19 World Cup held in South Africa. He then made a mark in the 2020 edition of the Pakistan Super League (PSL), representing Peshawar Zalmi.
Ali’s impressive debut against England
Last week, the Misbah-ul-Haq coached side thought of presenting Ali with his maiden international cap, during the 3rd T20I against England at Old Trafford in Manchester.
Batting first, Pakistan were in a spot of bother after the loss of Babar Azam‘s wicket, with the score reading at 32/2 in the fifth over.
Together with 39-year-old Mohammad Hafeez, Ali added 100 runs for the third wicket. The 19-year-old looked at ease on debut, registering an eye-pleasing knock of 54, in just 33 deliveries. He smashed five boundaries and a couple of maximums at a strike rate of 163.3.
The Hafeez and Ali alliance held a difference of 20 years between them and went on to prove that age is just a number in cricket. In the end, Pakistan won the final game of the T20I series by a margin of five runs.
Even former Australian cricketer, Tom Moody heaped praises for the latest batting sensation in Pakistan cricket.
“First saw Haider Ali in South Africa in the U/19’s WC, it was clear he was a special talent, just love that he’s been given the opportunity to shine today! #EngvPak #HaiderAli #T20,” Moody tweeted.
— Tom Moody (@TomMoodyCricket) September 1, 2020