Qantas Tour of the UAE
Quickest teen I've ever seen: Watson
Veteran allrounder puts Aussie ODI squad on high alert regarding Pakistan's Mohammad Hasnain ahead of Friday's series opener
18 March 2019, 04:55 PM AEST
Veteran Shane Watson has issued Australia's ODI team a warning ahead of their five-match series with Pakistan: beware teenage tearaway Mohammad Hasnain.
Watson played alongside the 18-year-old Hasnain during the Pakistan Super League, which finished on Sunday and culminated in their side, Quetta Gladiators, claiming the trophy.
And the Australian reckons the right-arm speedster, who was named in Pakistan's ODI squad for the series which begins in Sharjah on Friday, will turn heads if he gets the opportunity to take on the five-time world champions.
"Hasnain's control over his length and swing is very impressive and he varies his pace very well," Watson said.
"I have never seen an 18-year old bowl at such pace and I think even on the UAE pitches he will be a difficult proposition for the Australian team."
The experienced Watson has some quality to compare Hasnain to as well, considering he faced a young Mohammad Amir – who hit speeds approaching 150kph – during the Australian Test summer of 2009-10.
Hasnain was in scintillating form in the PSL final, winning player of the match with figures of 3-30 and afterwards targeting a spot in Pakistan's World Cup squad.
"I prefer getting my wickets via yorkers or bouncers," he said post-match. "I have always been a fast bowler, and I hope to bowl even faster.
"I want to do well in the ODIs against Australia (and) maybe get a spot in the World Cup squad as well."
Quetta captain Sarfraz Ahmed, who won't be part of the ODI series against the Australians, echoed Watson's sentiment.
"His pace is very impressive," said Sarfraz, "and he has the ability to surprise the batsmen on any surface."
Hasnain's inclusion in the Pakistan squad to take on Australia came amid a raft of changes for the hosts, with six first-choice players absent: Sarfraz, Babar Azam, Fakhar Zaman, Hasan Ali, Shadab Khan and Shaheen Shah Afridi.
The Pakistanis have made eight changes in total to the squad that lost 3-2 to South Africa this summer, with allrounder Hussain Talat dropped and veteran Mohammad Hafeez not considered as he recovers from thumb surgery.
Their 16-player group will be captained by 37-year-old Shoaib Malik who leads a squad with eight new faces – Hasnain, Abid Ali, Haris Sohail, Junaid Khan, Mohammad Abbas, Saad Ali, Umar Akmal and Yasir Shah – including four uncapped players in Abid, Abbas, Hasnain and Saad.