‘Showman’ Ahmed is the real deal – Agnew

Rehan Ahmed is the youngest man to play a Test for England

Rehan Ahmed’s performance in taking 5-48 on the third day of England’s final test against Pakistan was outstanding.

He is 18 and only in his fourth first-class match. I know how inexperienced and energized I felt after a few matches.

Yet he was there, bowling England to a position from which they would surely win the series 3-0. In the process, he became the youngest man to take a five-wicket haul on his Test debut.

It is very un-english to rush a player in Test cricket but it was absolutely the right thing to do for Ahmed.

Going 2-0 up, it was the perfect opportunity to see what the spinner could do in conditions similar to those England will face in India next winter. They would surely have learned more about him in one Test than they would have by watching him play for Leicestershire next summer.

We wondered if the occasion had overtaken Ahmed, but there was little of it. In fact, he revealed himself as a cheerful showman by playing on the biggest stage.

After Ahmed Naselin took Pakistan’s first innings, he was oddly denied by captain Ben Stokes until the 42nd over from the third over in Karachi.

Then again, everything Stokes touches turns to gold right now, and that proved with Ahmed.

In a spell of 12.5 overs, Ahmed stirred up an astonishing collapse and made himself the youngest leg bowler to claim a five-wicket haul in a men’s Test.

He will be the first to admit that his first victim, Babar Azam, fell into a terrible childbirth. It was a long rank jump that Babar had to bump for six. Instead, the Pakistani captain hit him directly on Ollie Pop, whose hands must have been still stinging after catching such a sharp catch.

This is what a leg can do. Even weak balls can be dangerous due to the natural variation in velocity, bounce and slip. It can be difficult to attack them with a cross bat. Yes, it was a lucky way to catch wickets, but Ahmed also bowls a lot of good balls that don’t get rewards.

On the other hand, his second wicket, that of Muhammad Radwan, was almost complete. There was nice bounce and spin to take the outside edge, which is exactly what you want from a leg spin putt.

From there, Ahmed was off and by the time he was down, showing the ball to the crowd, we all knew England had found someone special.

English cricket has always had a fascination with leg-spinning, partly because of what Shane Warne regularly did to us in the Ashes.

England is not the best place to produce wasps – the conditions are not particularly conducive to this. In an effort to find the next Warne, a few are tried and discarded.

In Ahmed’s case, he faced the great man in the net at Lord’s, so to now make an offer Warren had pounced on him to complete that circuit.

There’s always something going on when he’s bowling at leg. They bring energy and theater to the game. They’re the magicians, always looking to pull a bunny out of the hat.

Part of Warne’s act was to make the batsmen believe the ball was doing things it was not. I used to think of him as an acting lady.

Ahmed certainly has that side to his personality, so in that sense he has already emulated the legendary Australian, even if he is clearly a long way from matching his quality as a bowler.

It is England’s job now to protect him, to make sure he does not get into situations that would undermine his confidence.

I don’t think we’ll see him against Australia next summer – England will want the control Jack Leach provides – but we can already put Ahmed on the tour of India in early 2024.

Either way, it’s perfectly fine that England fans can get excited about him. Seems like the real deal.

As for England, the idea of ​​them coming to Pakistan and winning 3-0 was laughable after defeats to Australia in Hobart or the West Indies in Grenada earlier this year. No one has done this for Pakistan because it is very difficult.

Yet here we are, with Pakistan, the latter team left scratching their heads wondering if the way England plays can be stopped. Yes, Pakistan were below their best and lost two of their key fast bowlers, but Stokes’ side could only overcome what was in front of them.

Now we will all look forward to next summer, because the Ashes series against Australia is the first.

England will play the same way and the ruthless Australians will not back down.

When Australia beat England earlier this year, I was pondering the possibility of 2023 and came to the conclusion that England’s proud home unbeaten record, dating back to 2001, was under serious threat.

Now I’m not sure.

Jonathan Agnew was speaking to BBC Sport’s chief cricket writer Stefan Schimmelt in Karachi

#Showman #Ahmed #real #deal #Agnew

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *