Naseem Shah can be a force for Pakistan and trouble batsmen around the world, according to bowling coach Waqar Younis.
The teenager made his Test debut at the age of 16 in last year’s series with Australia and bowled faster than Jofra Archer in the first match against England last week.
Naseem took the wicket of Ollie Pope in the first innings and England captain Joe Root in the second innings, though his efforts could not prevent from Pakistan from suffering a three-wicket defeat.
He will attempt to play an instrumental role in the second Test at the Rose Bowl, which starts on Thursday.
And Waqar, whose 373 Test wickets put him second on the all-time list for Pakistan behind Wasim Akram, believes improving his fitness to bowl longer spells is key to Naseem realising his potential.
“He’s very talented and he’s only 17 years of age, he’s still growing but what a talent he is,” Waqar told a media conference.
“I don’t think he really bowled as well as expected in the previous game, but he can really bowl well, he can really take the opposition on at times.
“He’s one for the future, he’s going to get stronger and hopefully get fitter and be able to bowl longer spells and will cause trouble to batsmen around the world.”
Asked if Naseem can go on to join him and Akram in the ranks of the Pakistan greats, Waqar replied: “He’s young, he’s really talented, he’s got a very good action, all he needs to do is probably get stronger and fitter.
“Once he gets fitter and bowls more overs, he will definitely be a force for Pakistan in the next coming few years.
“When you talk about becoming a great it’s very, very difficult to be sure about anyone.
“Pakistan has over the years produced some really, really quality fast bowlers in the last two and a half/three decades I know.
“If he keeps himself fit and strong and keeps bowling, I’m sure he’s got the potential of becoming a very good bowler.” (SportsMax)