Pakistan has had a strong track record of producing world class leg spinners. In fact, besides Australia, Pakistan is the only cricket nation that has given cricket a constant stream of leg spinners that have gone on to become match winners.
While Australia have had the likes of Richie Benaud, Bill O'Reilly, Arthur Mailey, Clarie Grimmet, Stuart Macgill, and the best ever Shane Warne, Pakistan have produced Intikhab Alam, Mushtaq Ahmed, Shahid Afridi, Danish Kaneria, and the master of the googly Abdul Qadir.
The newest leg spinner in town, Pakistan's Yasir Shah, is another one of the same breed - a world class match winning leg spinner!
Yasir's 7 wicket haul in the second innings against Sri Lanka ensured a win for Pakistan in a test that was looking to meander towards a draw. His 7-76 is now a record for the best bowling figures ever by an overseas bowler in a test in Sri Lanka.
What is even better is that Yasir broke a record (7-94), which was previously held by the best leg spinner ever to play the game - Shane Warne.
Warne has publicly praised Yasir a number of times, He has tweeted a lot of praise and also spoken on TV about how he believes that Yasir is the best leg spinner in the world today. There aren't many around these days, but the two that are prominent are both from Pakistan - Yasir Shah and Imran Tahir.
And Yasir Shah, with every game, is proving Shane Warne correct and showing the world why he is really the best leggie in the business.
Surely he has a long way to go, but the start of his test career has been phenomenal! With 46 wickets in only 8 tests, Yasir is on the verge of creating a Pakistan record. With only 4 wickets in the next test, he will become the fastest bowler to 50 test wickets for Pakistan. Not only faster than any spinner to play for Pakistan, but faster than all of our bowling legends.
There are only 18 bowlers in this world who have picked up 50 wickets in 9 tests or less; and only 3 bowlers have achieved that in the past 40 years - Macgill, Philander, and Ashwin. The record feat for a leg spinner is also 9 tests - jointly held by Australia's Arthur Mailey and Stuart Macgill.
Yasir Shah is all set to join the legendary leagues of the best.
Yasir has not only achieved personal milestones in his short career; his bowling efforts have resulted in historic test wins for Pakistan.
He made his debut against Australia in the UAE last year and his 12 wickets in the 2 tests at an average of only 17 were instrumental in Pakistan beating Australia in a test series for the first time in 20 years.
He was among the wickets again in test wins over New Zealand and Bangladesh.
And now, he has become the chief architect of Pakistan's first test win in Sri Lanka for 9 years.
If he continues in the same vein, Pakistan will win a lot more tests and will surely climb higher in the test rankings. A series win over Sri Lanka will put them at 3rd, behind only Australia and South Africa.
Leg spin bowling was never the same since Shane Warne retired. It had been a long time since cricket had seen a bowler mesmerizing batsmen with leggies, googlies, and faster ones. So thank God for the emergence of Yasir Shah for there are few better sights than seeing a batsman troubled by the wiles of a leg spinner.
Pakistan and world cricket are definitely richer with a bowler like Yasir Shah.
He will go on to create Pakistan records, maybe even world records, but the best part will always be that the world once again has someone who can spin it at good pace past the batsmen, dip it alarmingly fast, get it to zip through at pace, and turn it back into them deceivingly well!
Above all, he can do all this all day long with a smile on his face!