The eighth edition of the Pakistan Super League (PSL) concluded with Lahore Qalandars defending their title in a grand finale against Multan Sultans at the Gaddafi Stadium.
Throughout the month-long cricket festival, fans witnessed outstanding performances from both local and foreign players, with some emerging players also showcasing their talent.
Some of these emerging cricketers impressed the selection committee with their performance and have been selected for the national team for the T20I series against Afghanistan.
There are also many positive signs for the national team that can be further improved in the future, and the improvement of the batting skills of Shaheen Afridi is one of those.
No one can deny the fact that the Babar Azam-led side has a plethora of options for selection, particularly in white-ball cricket, as it has a powerful bench strength in every department.
When it comes to the opening pair, the likes of Imam-ul-Haq, Fakhar Zaman, and Abdullah Shafique are in the form of their lives and have been performing magnificently for years.
The bowling, with Shaheen Afridi, Naseem Shah, Haris Rauf, Mohammad Nawaz, and Shadab, gives Babar plenty of game-changing options to exercise in different phases of a match.
However, the only area where the Men in Green lag behind other teams is finishing skills with the bat, which should be addressed at the earliest.
Batting in the lower order has always been difficult, as it is the stage where a player can change the game in their favor.
The ability of Shaheen Afridi to hit the ball a long way is not in doubt, as he proved himself in the recently concluded PSL for his side, including the important stage of the final.
Shaheen’s performance is a clear indicator for the national team management to think about promoting him up the order on certain occasions to let him develop his six-hitting ability further.
While he has not yet impressed fans with his clean hitting in international cricket, his batting style is more suited to those of late finishers.
Shaheen scored 40-plus runs and four-wicket in a PSL match twice this year.
|Ravi Bopara||71*||6/ 16||KK V LQ||2016|
|Shadab Khan||52||4/ 20||IU V LQ||2022|
|Shaheen Afridi||52||4/31||LQ V PZ||2023|
|Shaheen Afridi||44*||4/51||LQ V MS||2023|
Afridi has been exceptionally brutal against fast bowlers, and his ability to clear the rope without stepping out of the crease and not forcing his body has made him a player to watch.
In this particular season, the biggest difference in Shaheen Shah’s power-hitting has been his confidence in his ability, which, in turn, allowed him to stay calm under pressure.
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Instead of swinging the bat like fast bowlers, the left-handed batter manufactured shots that he wanted, and he simply waited for balls to land in his zone.
The 22-year-old cricketer seems like a multi-dimensional cricketer who not only goes after pacers but has also changed his approach and batting style toward spinners.
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Shaheen might not be transformed into a 360-degree player, but he does have shots for most balls which can be utilized against any bowler at the critical stage of the match.
Shaheen has the talent to be a strong finisher, and investing in his transformation into a hard-hitter will be the right thing to do.
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