Yasir Shah has the air of a contented cat. We’re not quite sure what gives us this impression. Perhaps it’s the eyes.
In the cat world, a slow blink is a way of saying that the person being blinked at is pretty cool. It says that diplomatic relations between you are positive. No-one’s going to make themselves look big; no-one’s going to take a chunk out of anyone else’s ear; and no-one’s going to piss on anything to ensure it smells more of their piss than anyone else’s. In short, everyone’s relaxed.
With his narrow eyes, Yasir Shah seems to be eternally caught in the middle of a slow blink. He also seems pretty relaxed in other ways. He grins a lot, for example – although maybe that’s just because of all the wickets.
Yasir has never played county cricket. He has only ever played Test cricket in the UAE, Sri Lanka and Bangladesh. You’d think bowling in England might therefore provide a steep learning curve. If it did, he paused, wagged his tail, went momentarily tense and then launched himself up it, clawing his way to the summit in an instant.
He had a few tips of Mushtaq Ahmed too. Mushy also reminds us of a contented cat; a slightly older, reasonably well-fed cat whose jumping days are behind him, but who can still advise you on the right line to bowl on the second day at Lord’s.
You know, one of those cats.