Qantas Tour of the UAE
The teen tearaway who rattled Aussies
18-year-old Mohammad Hasnain has clocked 151kph and had the Aussies hopping in his maiden ODI which had Waqar Younis up and about
Louis Cameron in Abu Dhabi
25 March 2019, 09:31 PM AEST
Not much has fazed Australia’s top order through two matches against Pakistan, but Mohammad Hasnain has come as close as anyone to doing so and the teenage speedster’s exhilarating debut spell could be the spark Pakistan desperately needs.
Fast-bowling prospects do not come any rawer onto the international stage than Hasnain, who had never played a domestic one-day game yet alone an ODI before Sunday's match against Australia in Sharjah.
But the 18-year-old not only showed why Pakistan have fast-tracked him into the national setup at such a young age, he genuinely hurried Australia's top order and looked far likelier to find a way through than his more experienced teammates.
Having hit a top speed of 151kph in his breakout Pakistan Super League campaign and labelled by Shane Watson as the fastest teenage bowler he'd seen, Hasnain had huge raps on him.
But the youngster nicknamed 'Rockets' by Pakistan's coaching staff lived up to the billing as he had Australia's otherwise untroubled opening pair ducking, weaving and even landed a couple of body blows.
Hasnain stared Usman Khawaja down after his first ball in international cricket went whistling past the Aussie's ears. Another bouncer clattered into the helmet of Finch, who later copped one to the groin off the inside edge.
Hasnain's fierce spell sparked a subdued Sharjah crowd into excitement and prompted some choice words from Umar Akmal to Finch during an otherwise uninspired Pakistani effort in the field.
"He bowled really well," said wicketkeeper Mohammad Rizwan. "He is a young guy and he just came from the PSL, he's a new find who can hit 145(kph)-plus. They take time (to develop).
"The batsmen from Australia – Aaron Finch and Khawaja – he bounced them really well. I was far (back) from the wickets because (Hasnain's bouncers) are going fast."
— cricket.com.au (@cricketcomau) March 25, 2019
He finished as the game's fastest bowler.
Hasnain’s fiery introduction to the top flight couldn't halt Australia from rattling to a second consecutive victory, but it did leave the visitors’ with an extra factor to consider for the final three games of the series.
"He had decent pace, he was bowling a down a big breeze so that helped him a bit," said Khawaja, who noted they'd still taken him for six runs-per-over despite his impressive start.
"He was on debut too, so he probably had the adrenaline going also. He looked like a good bowler, he had a bit of pace on him. You've got to respect those bowlers sometimes."
Whether Hasnain is too green for the pressures of a World Cup remains to be seen, but the right-armer could give coach Mickey Arthur something to ponder should he continue to impress with the likes of Hasan Ali and Shaheen Shah Afridi sitting out the ongoing series.
One of Hasnain's idols is Waqar Younis, who first came across Hasnain two years ago after being shown mobile phone footage of him, and the Pakistan legend said on commentary the youngster should have been given the new ball.
While Waqar suggested he can still improve the efficiency of his run-up, the pace legend tipped him for big things.
"He's got a very strong action, he's fit," said Waqar. "He's got a big future in front of him."
Qantas Tour of the UAE
First ODI: Australia won by eight wickets
Second ODI: Australia won by eight wickets
Third ODI: v Pakistan, March 27 in Abu Dhabi
Fourth ODI: v Pakistan, March 29 in Dubai
Fifth ODI: v Pakistan, March 31 in Dubai
(all matches begin at 10pm AEDT)