New Zealand v Pakistan, World T20 2012, Group D, Pallekele September 23, 2012

Jamshed bridges Pakistan gap

He may be just 22, but Nasir Jamshed has the blend of assurance and aggression to flourish in all formats
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One day, Nasir Jamshed could become the missing link between Umar Akmal and Azhar Ali among men who carry Pakistan's batting into the future: the bridge between flair and fortitude, between roulette and rock. He is that rare young Pakistan batsman who contains the two contrasts within him, and yet seems natural. The kind whose hitting does not appear to be desperate. The kind whose defence does not appear to be sedate.

This was a Twenty20 international all right, but the blend of assurance and aggression suggested again that he should probably be playing in the top order across all three formats for Pakistan in time to come. He has a solid defence and is also a quite competent and eager puller, which he showed when he deposited the seriously quick Adam Milne over deep fine leg for six.

The brawn and the clip to midwicket have brought comparisons with Graeme Smith, but on Sunday, Jamshed displayed his variety on the off side. His wrists put so much timing on two Nathan McCullum deliveries that both sailed over for six over the deep extra cover rope. No wonder former Pakistan captain and commentator Ramiz Raja called his 56 the "most cultured knock" of the World Twenty20 so far.

Jamshed has given enough demonstration of his unique talent in his short international career, which has already seen him suffer injuries, get dropped and make a comeback. The first phase, as an 18-yeard old in 2008, started and ended with a brace of fifties, including one against India. He was out for nearly three years before forcing his way back for the Asia Cup in March through performances on the domestic circuit and in the Bangladesh Premier League. Since then, he averages more than 50 in ODIs, and has already had three century opening stands in seven games with fellow opener Mohammad Hafeez, including 224 against India in the Asia Cup.

Hafeez, the Pakistan T20I captain, was sitting on the sidelines of Jamshed's post-match press conference, watching the young batsman soak in the admiration from the media. Jamshed, who comes across as a grounded man, spoke with a boyish happiness that betrayed that he is still well short of turning 23.

"I really enjoyed batting with the captain, Hafeez," Jamshed said. "The kind of confidence I got from the captain, I want to have partnerships like the one I had with him today. I am the captain's choice and I am enjoying it here. He has given me a lot of confidence." Hafeez smiled broadly in satisfaction at these words, a captain silently acknowledging his part in the coming good of a talented tyro.

Jamshed was asked about the various strokes he played in his innings. "I am a stroke player that is why I am playing shots like these," was his simple answer in English, before he explained further in Urdu. "From when I started batting I was never scared of anything, whether it is opposition bowlers or pressure. I just try to handle the pressure and enjoy my game. I just go out there and shuru ho jaata hoon [just start playing]."

He made it sound too simple but at 22, Jamshed already knows what it takes to regain a place in the side. "I was confident while coming back as everyone was saying that when Nasir Jamshed comes back he'll be an important player," Jamshed said. "I have improved my game and today I showed those skills in the match.

"We just wanted to stick to our plans despite the loss of wickets. I wanted to control the game because I was the set batsman at the time. I wanted to take as much of the strike as possible and score as much as I can." Control the innings. Set batsman. Mature terms to use at 22. He could be the missing link after all.

Abhishek Purohit is an editorial assistant at ESPNcricinfo

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • POSTED BY on | September 25, 2012, 18:01 GMT

    @Ubaidaleem: You could have easily guessed that 29 was a typo for 39. So Inzi's avg was 39 while Nasir's is 42. Happy now? :)

  • POSTED BY on | September 25, 2012, 17:47 GMT

    @krishkrish: I thought you had read the reply to that! As someone ALREADY pointed out, Nasir wasn't facing a 120kph stock bowler from the Ranji trophy when his teammates were playing Starc, right before the worldcup! As for Steyn, Steyn at Lanka can't be as lethal as Steyn in his natural habitat. At any rate, I recall Pakistan handling him quite comfortably in 2010. InshAllah, we will overcome all the Steyns and Starcs, and just when we most need them, our bowlers will get back to their lethal tiny total saving best.

  • POSTED BY liskal on | September 25, 2012, 17:08 GMT

    He keeps reminding me of a young graeme smith

  • POSTED BY on | September 25, 2012, 14:16 GMT

    @Muhammad Fahim Hassan. I think you are confusing Raxa Abbas reply to my comment as my comment. Go read my comment again. I am the person with most post on Afridi defence on this forum :)

  • POSTED BY on | September 25, 2012, 12:42 GMT

    @Qazi Hassan, you say Afridi is an average player! sounds you are well aware of cricket and then you blame him that you cant gaurantee that he performs in every match! nice comments,, can you pls delegate me only one player and i mean it just only one player whom you can gaurantee that he will perform! Grow up,,better learn cricket before commenting..

  • POSTED BY wrenx on | September 25, 2012, 10:17 GMT

    He looks a solid opener, but I wouldn't get too carried away just yet. He's very young and has only really played on good surfaces against weak bowling attacks like India, Australia and New Zealand. Hopefully he'll keep playing plenty of first-class cricket and get a test spot soon, especially if Taufeeq Umar continues to flounder

  • POSTED BY krishkrish on | September 25, 2012, 9:57 GMT

    @Qazi hasan :- Nasir played all his matches in asia only. PLEASE DONT COMPARE HIM WITH KOHLI, I am not a fan of Kohli . Still i can say virat is much better player than nasir. Unfortunately Pakistan doesnt have Batsmen like inzi or Anwar. Like how India struggles for bolwers, pak will struggle for batsmen. Lets C in super eights and semifinals. how much he scores against Steyn and Starc.

  • POSTED BY Ubaidaleem on | September 25, 2012, 5:23 GMT

    Inzamam's ODI average @ 29 !dude where did that come from, you are already on cricinfo all you need to do is check the profile before hastily jumping on to the comment section. Nasir is good talent let us hope he continues his good work for as long as Inzi did....

    I liked your energy though!

  • POSTED BY on | September 25, 2012, 4:21 GMT

    obousely jamshaid is a great player but still the pcb fails to utalise him on his natural position. haffez should have left the open space for him

  • POSTED BY on | September 24, 2012, 21:28 GMT

    @qazi hasan:- i second u :) but just wana ask one ques what pcb have done wrong with afridi he is just a avg player and a overated person thats it :) even u cant expect from him to perform in every matches

  • POSTED BY on | September 25, 2012, 18:01 GMT

    @Ubaidaleem: You could have easily guessed that 29 was a typo for 39. So Inzi's avg was 39 while Nasir's is 42. Happy now? :)

  • POSTED BY on | September 25, 2012, 17:47 GMT

    @krishkrish: I thought you had read the reply to that! As someone ALREADY pointed out, Nasir wasn't facing a 120kph stock bowler from the Ranji trophy when his teammates were playing Starc, right before the worldcup! As for Steyn, Steyn at Lanka can't be as lethal as Steyn in his natural habitat. At any rate, I recall Pakistan handling him quite comfortably in 2010. InshAllah, we will overcome all the Steyns and Starcs, and just when we most need them, our bowlers will get back to their lethal tiny total saving best.

  • POSTED BY liskal on | September 25, 2012, 17:08 GMT

    He keeps reminding me of a young graeme smith

  • POSTED BY on | September 25, 2012, 14:16 GMT

    @Muhammad Fahim Hassan. I think you are confusing Raxa Abbas reply to my comment as my comment. Go read my comment again. I am the person with most post on Afridi defence on this forum :)

  • POSTED BY on | September 25, 2012, 12:42 GMT

    @Qazi Hassan, you say Afridi is an average player! sounds you are well aware of cricket and then you blame him that you cant gaurantee that he performs in every match! nice comments,, can you pls delegate me only one player and i mean it just only one player whom you can gaurantee that he will perform! Grow up,,better learn cricket before commenting..

  • POSTED BY wrenx on | September 25, 2012, 10:17 GMT

    He looks a solid opener, but I wouldn't get too carried away just yet. He's very young and has only really played on good surfaces against weak bowling attacks like India, Australia and New Zealand. Hopefully he'll keep playing plenty of first-class cricket and get a test spot soon, especially if Taufeeq Umar continues to flounder

  • POSTED BY krishkrish on | September 25, 2012, 9:57 GMT

    @Qazi hasan :- Nasir played all his matches in asia only. PLEASE DONT COMPARE HIM WITH KOHLI, I am not a fan of Kohli . Still i can say virat is much better player than nasir. Unfortunately Pakistan doesnt have Batsmen like inzi or Anwar. Like how India struggles for bolwers, pak will struggle for batsmen. Lets C in super eights and semifinals. how much he scores against Steyn and Starc.

  • POSTED BY Ubaidaleem on | September 25, 2012, 5:23 GMT

    Inzamam's ODI average @ 29 !dude where did that come from, you are already on cricinfo all you need to do is check the profile before hastily jumping on to the comment section. Nasir is good talent let us hope he continues his good work for as long as Inzi did....

    I liked your energy though!

  • POSTED BY on | September 25, 2012, 4:21 GMT

    obousely jamshaid is a great player but still the pcb fails to utalise him on his natural position. haffez should have left the open space for him

  • POSTED BY on | September 24, 2012, 21:28 GMT

    @qazi hasan:- i second u :) but just wana ask one ques what pcb have done wrong with afridi he is just a avg player and a overated person thats it :) even u cant expect from him to perform in every matches

  • POSTED BY on | September 24, 2012, 15:11 GMT

    @krishkrish: "Nasir Jamshed played against medicore bowling attack. This innnigs was lucky one for him and pakistan". I have news for you. Nasir Jamshed is not a "One hit wonder". He has played 19 ODI @ 42, and 4 T20 @ 32. No, none of his performance was against Bangladesh, Zimbabwe, ireland, or West Indies. It was only against solid teams like Australia, England, India, and now only against New Zealand. If he is not suppressed and heart broken by PCB dirty politics like they did to Afridi, the world would forget your batting heroes like Kohli

  • POSTED BY on | September 24, 2012, 15:03 GMT

    @salman_0902: No Nasir is not Inzamam. In batting, Inzamam was nobody in T20 and Nasir has an average of 32. Inzamam's average in ODI was 29 and Nasir's is 42. In fielding, Inzamam took no catches in T20 whereas Nasir's catching rate is 100%. In ODI Inzamam has a catching rate of only 35% whereas Nasir's rate is 42%. Don't even compare the fitness levels of these two. If Nasir is given a chance in test, I am sure he will outperform Inzamam there as well.

  • POSTED BY mainul079080 on | September 24, 2012, 15:02 GMT

    @Arjun Calidas, i was a great fan of Asim Kamal in his short carier.He could not continue in Pak team just because of old ugly Pak regional politics in selection.Many talented players are wasted in this way.I am sure if Asim was given a extended run he would have a great carier.I really feel sorry for this gentleman.What a wastage of talent!Thanks Arjun to remind everybody of that unlucky deprived lad.

  • POSTED BY Ammar.Asgahr on | September 24, 2012, 13:00 GMT

    He IS a Real Goood Batting I like him very much

  • POSTED BY salman_0902 on | September 24, 2012, 12:57 GMT

    I see Inzamam in him. not that he is big and Inzi can be fit inside him but he looks like him in aggression and defence and also size.

  • POSTED BY Dilectus on | September 24, 2012, 12:43 GMT

    @krishkrish don't be jealous plz. He has already faced Starc who could get him out only once in five innings. Yes it is very early in his career but signs are there for things to come. Just enjoy the batting.

  • POSTED BY Syed_imran_abbas on | September 24, 2012, 9:12 GMT

    He has become one of my fav young batsman from Pakistan. Excellent guy and wonderfull player. I was happy to see him fielding well in match and i am sure coaching staff and management can work out on his fittness issues and polish his skills further. Someone please say few words to Umar Akmal as well please. Pakistan has good talent in Nasir Jmashed, Umar Akmal, Asad Shafeeq and Azhar Ali in batting to take things further. I hope Ahmad Shahzad can make up to these guys as well.

  • POSTED BY Gohar on | September 24, 2012, 8:54 GMT

    the only thing he required is fitness!! he is not a good Athlete!! We don't want another Injury proned cricketer

  • POSTED BY on | September 24, 2012, 8:09 GMT

    WoW,the article explains every bit of my feeling,which i was having while watching him play.. It was like a craftsman at work,every single shot was a piece of art. It was an inning which you will never get tired of watching,it had the supreme touch of elegance,it was tailor-made for a true cricket fan to enjoy. Wish you a great career boy..

  • POSTED BY getsetgopk on | September 24, 2012, 7:38 GMT

    First of all, a very nice article, its a bit odd when some people say they'll work on their technique and improve, I personally dont buy into that, great batsmen of the past didn't learn from anyone they were just born that way, Batsmen like Afridi and Hafeez for example tried their level best but somehow couldn't become good batsmen though its funny to see them leading the bowlers ranking maybe they found out their real self as their careers went along they weren't really coached to bowl well but rather coached to bat well still they can bowl with guile and deception in their arm better than most spinners. Nasir is indeed a rare talent and exactly what Pakistan need at this stage. Wish him all the best we have greatness in the making.

  • POSTED BY tbaakza on | September 24, 2012, 7:09 GMT

    nasir jamshed / asad shafiq and azhar ali are the future for pakistan's batting, never have 3 players collectively looked so solid in defence and barring asad shafiq, can hit at will. asad shafiq whilst i think is the most solid in defence and has a solid technique is a test player, pakistans batting after years looks good and if aamir can come back asap with gul / afridi / ajmal pakistan can be in the same league where south africa lie today

  • POSTED BY krishkrish on | September 24, 2012, 6:57 GMT

    Nasir Jamshed played against medicore bowling attack. This innnigs was lucky one for him and pakistan.. Lets see how he plays against likes of Steyn and Starc.... By the way Rameez Raja was talking too much about this fellow.

  • POSTED BY on | September 24, 2012, 5:47 GMT

    I remember a brilliant young batsman who made his debut against India.. His name was Asim Kamal.. India cannot manage bowlers, Pakistan cannot manage batsmen.. MAybe this guy will be the next Saeed Anwar..

  • POSTED BY Crazy4cricket40 on | September 24, 2012, 4:37 GMT

    very good article by abhishek...very happy to see a quality batsmen with aggression coming in pakistan side. Its quite early to compare him with Inzi or Anwar but defenately he got those skills and telent. who knows one day he might be bigger than them...I.A.

  • POSTED BY sfhr on | September 24, 2012, 4:17 GMT

    Abhishek Purohit ... Man have u improved .. Brilliant intro and linking.

    There was one typo though ..." The first phase, as an 18-yeard old in 2008, started and ended with a brace of fifties, including one against India."

  • POSTED BY on | September 24, 2012, 3:53 GMT

    Time has come to replace Taufiq Umar with Nasir at our test opener, he his good find however need to improve his fitness alot, he was cramping during his 97 against Australia ...

  • POSTED BY Cricket_Master_Mind on | September 24, 2012, 1:32 GMT

    what i like about him is '' He plays with command. Never let the bowler take over. Play with bravery and confidence without taking pressure that sign of Good Player;'' In youngsters every body should get inspiration from Kohli. he is next Tendulakr

  • POSTED BY Desihungama on | September 23, 2012, 23:29 GMT

    He was a find when debuted in 2008. Back then he was injury prone, contracted dengue fever too which kept him out of the game but he has worked his way back in and really an Inzi type player in the making. He just needs to work and stay fit.

  • POSTED BY avmd on | September 23, 2012, 22:55 GMT

    A left handed Inzamam in making. Like Inzi, he is extremely talented, perform well under pressure, a very good player of fast bowling, plays his shorts late. But, like Inzi, he is not the fittest player even at this young age, his fielding and running between the wickets is not of highest standard and he takes things too casual at times. If he improves his fitness, he will be phenomenal player.

  • POSTED BY PakCric786 on | September 23, 2012, 22:44 GMT

    InshAllah Nasir Jamshed will be the future for Pak and i pray that selectors give him long run in all formats, i just love watching him play he is great talent.

  • POSTED BY Cricketfan08 on | September 23, 2012, 22:41 GMT

    What this guy has talent and what an entertainer he is. After Kohli I can see another boy who plays like someone who has years of experience on his side. His strokes today were more delightful than Kohli's. All the best Nasir.

  • POSTED BY gullycover on | September 23, 2012, 21:14 GMT

    Well put Abhishek. Jamshed looks the part :)

  • POSTED BY Hassan_U on | September 23, 2012, 21:05 GMT

    Nasir mate you did well and would like to play well in future too. Best of luck

  • POSTED BY Munafis810 on | September 23, 2012, 21:00 GMT

    good player this guy. his batting is not styled on close-eyes-swing-hope-to-connect for six type

  • POSTED BY Dr_Nasir.. on | September 23, 2012, 20:56 GMT

    well played young man...and good confidenc...all the very best for ur futur....wana see u also in test side...

  • POSTED BY wc1992 on | September 23, 2012, 20:41 GMT

    i think he should not try to hit sixes just 4 and good stroke just only for 5 overs then go off as he wish

  • POSTED BY ejsiddiqui on | September 23, 2012, 20:40 GMT

    Best of Luck Nasir, He is surely looking to fill the gap between U.Akmal and Azhar Ali. The best thing about him is that even in aggressive mode he plays proper cricket shots. He also has improved his fielding very much, he wan not used to be a good fielder.

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  • POSTED BY ejsiddiqui on | September 23, 2012, 20:40 GMT

    Best of Luck Nasir, He is surely looking to fill the gap between U.Akmal and Azhar Ali. The best thing about him is that even in aggressive mode he plays proper cricket shots. He also has improved his fielding very much, he wan not used to be a good fielder.

  • POSTED BY wc1992 on | September 23, 2012, 20:41 GMT

    i think he should not try to hit sixes just 4 and good stroke just only for 5 overs then go off as he wish

  • POSTED BY Dr_Nasir.. on | September 23, 2012, 20:56 GMT

    well played young man...and good confidenc...all the very best for ur futur....wana see u also in test side...

  • POSTED BY Munafis810 on | September 23, 2012, 21:00 GMT

    good player this guy. his batting is not styled on close-eyes-swing-hope-to-connect for six type

  • POSTED BY Hassan_U on | September 23, 2012, 21:05 GMT

    Nasir mate you did well and would like to play well in future too. Best of luck

  • POSTED BY gullycover on | September 23, 2012, 21:14 GMT

    Well put Abhishek. Jamshed looks the part :)

  • POSTED BY Cricketfan08 on | September 23, 2012, 22:41 GMT

    What this guy has talent and what an entertainer he is. After Kohli I can see another boy who plays like someone who has years of experience on his side. His strokes today were more delightful than Kohli's. All the best Nasir.

  • POSTED BY PakCric786 on | September 23, 2012, 22:44 GMT

    InshAllah Nasir Jamshed will be the future for Pak and i pray that selectors give him long run in all formats, i just love watching him play he is great talent.

  • POSTED BY avmd on | September 23, 2012, 22:55 GMT

    A left handed Inzamam in making. Like Inzi, he is extremely talented, perform well under pressure, a very good player of fast bowling, plays his shorts late. But, like Inzi, he is not the fittest player even at this young age, his fielding and running between the wickets is not of highest standard and he takes things too casual at times. If he improves his fitness, he will be phenomenal player.

  • POSTED BY Desihungama on | September 23, 2012, 23:29 GMT

    He was a find when debuted in 2008. Back then he was injury prone, contracted dengue fever too which kept him out of the game but he has worked his way back in and really an Inzi type player in the making. He just needs to work and stay fit.