Shaheen Afridi likely to make Test debut in Abu Dhabi

Shaheen Afridi is thrilled after bowling Colin Munro Getty Images

Left-arm quick Shaheen Afridi is likely to make his Test debut in the third Test against New Zealand in Abu Dhabi. A shoulder injury to Mohammad Abbas in the second Test in Dubai set to open up a place for Shaheen in the deciding Test of the series, which starts from Monday.

Following impressive performances since his international debut, Shaheen was named in the 15-man Test squad last month along with another uncapped player Saad Ali. "If I get a chance I will do my best," Shaheen told AFP. "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.

"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."

Shaheen, 18, got into record books in September last year with figures of 8 for 39 for Khan Research Laboratory in the Quaid-e-Azam Trophy, the best-ever by a Pakistani on first-class debut. He found his way into Pakistan's T20I squad, and eventually the ODI squad this year, after turning heads with some remarkable performances in the Under-19 World Cup and the Pakistan Super League. He impressed in the ODI series against New Zealand last month, where he claimed back-to-back four-wicket hauls and finished as Man-of-the-Series.

He then went on to pick seven wickets - five of them bowled - in Pakistan A's win over England Lions in their four-day match in Abu Dhabi last month.

Hailing from Khyber Agency in Federally Administered Tribal Areas (FATA) of Pakistan, Shaheen was just four years old when his brother Riaz Afridi - who is also his role model - played his solitary Test match for Pakistan.

"My brother was my role model who taught me how to bowl and how to approach cricket with a positive frame of mind," he said. "I owe my success to him."

Shaheen is set for a Test debut having played just three first-class matches in his career, much like Pakistan's legendary left-arm pacer Wasim Akram.

"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."