January 8, 2014

Junaid Khan's slow burn

He hasn't burst onto the scene all flamboyance and wild hair, like the stereotypical Pakistani fast bowler, but his bowling has started to talk all right
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Junaid has made the unfashionable ODI his happy hunting ground
Junaid has made the unfashionable ODI his happy hunting ground © AFP

To cricket journalists, the coach day is a killer. A team has had a stink of a day and nobody wants to make it worse by turning up to explain why. So the coach comes out and tries to make sense of it. It makes for difficult copy. Pakistan has have plenty of coach days too, but they're not so bad because we dread something far worse. We fear most the maa ki dua, jannat ki hawaa player turning up.

Forget the literal translation: a mother's prayers are like the breeze of heaven. It's a popular phrase, found on the back of taxis, trucks and rickshaws. Pakistan's cricket journalists have appropriated it, though, using it as code for a player who will talk in the blandest, most inane way about his performance on the day. "I did well, thanks to my family, my coach, my supporters, blah blah, maa ki dua, jannat ki hawaa." There: make a story out of that. Junaid Khan, bless him, is a part of this breed.

Nearly three years ago, at the 2011 World Cup, Junaid had his first major interaction with big media. It became clear immediately, despite a cute reference to Youtube, that Junaid's words would struggle to make great copy. On the first day of the first Test against Sri Lanka in Abu Dhabi last week, he turned up again to talk about his five-wicket haul in the first innings. He managed to speak about his performance, his career, his progress, his influences, all in less than three minutes - including time for translations. If he had actually said maa ki dua, jannat ki hawaa it might have lasted longer.

Luckily his bowling has become far more eloquent, especially over the last year. Junaid's rise has actually been the real story for Pakistan in 2013. Saeed Ajmal, hair flattened by heavy roller or not, is the main man always; Mohammad Irfan's own rise has been nigh on unbelievable and a wonderful story. Whatever attention remained was consumed by the tragicomedy of Dale Steyn-Mohammad Hafeez and the Camusian debates around Misbah-ul-Haq's captaincy.

In all this noise Junaid has not exactly slinked his way through the year unnoticed. But he's not, let's face it, done it the way we're used to Pakistani fast bowlers doing it. A young Pakistani fast bowler arrives on the scene with the pomp and preening of a groom arriving at his own wedding, atop a white horse, revellers dancing, the band and baaja joyously signalling his entrance. There's no way to miss it. Junaid has been a mere guest at the wedding, a distant relative. His has been a more graded progression, a kind of accumulated momentum over three years coming good now. Actually, it's been a little unnerving in that sense.

This year Junaid has not dropped himself like a bomb on batsmen. That is perhaps not his way, though it has led one former fast bowling grandee to assess - hastily maybe but not entirely outrageously - that he is not an attack leader but a very fine third seamer. Instead he has laid out elaborate minefields for batsmen to walk through, but really, the outlook in coming out unscathed is pretty bleak. Twice in Abu Dhabi, Jacques Kallis couldn't do it. Just recently, in the last ODI at the same venue, Kumar Sangakkara couldn't: he was pulled slowly across to the off side over three overs; Junaid then bowled one straighter, slanting in to bowl an out-of-place Sangakkara round his legs, and these are but a couple of Instragramable snaps from a whole, sparkling album.

There is a chain around his neck, an essential accoutrement for all pedigree fast bowlers. The little tuft of facial hair beneath the lip has not gone unnoticed. The hair is catching up to contemporary fashion

It is in that format that Junaid's bloom has been most fragrant, which maybe explains the lack of gusto in celebrating him: the only thing more unfashionable than an ODI is a specialist wicketkeeper, or an MBA. There has not been a patch of a 50-over innings where Junaid has not thrived. With the new ball he did for India on the cusp of 2013 with one of the spells of the season. With a softer ball, in the dead air that is the ODI middle overs, he showed against Sri Lanka in this latest series the continuing relevance of a fast bowler who seeks wickets. In South Africa he bowled an over of such death the Grim Reaper put down his scythe and applauded. In much more has been evident greater degrees of skill, enhanced game awareness and unflagging stamina, a package requiring only the wrapping and posting.

Round the wicket he is already as comfortable as any current left-armer, though maybe he seeks that comfort too readily. The angle does give his growing range an airing, especially the one that doesn't just straighten but cuts away. The bouncer, among other tools, from that angle is especially deceptive, quicker than expected and almost always honed to harry down the batsman's throat.

High praise comes from the man who has led him through this entire phase, the man who, in the absence of Umar Gul and others, has needed him most. "He is the kind of a bowler we needed," says Misbah-ul-Haq. "We didn't have Gul and Junaid played a leading role, especially at crucial moments for us. In ODIs, in tough situations, during the last overs, at crucial stages in so many matches he has gotten us wickets. In Tests he has been outstanding, not just with the new ball but with the old ball. He's been a really improved bowler."

More than most Misbah is best placed to recognise Junaid's virtues and his measured drift upwards. If ever a man was more than the sum of what he arrived with, who has sweated his way up, it is Misbah. Natural gifts and talent are a ropey area but the impression that Mohammad Amir, to take one relevant example, arrived readier than Junaid does not feel inaccurate. "Yes, there are bowlers who come, and because they have natural attributes like pace and swing they come and have success immediately," says Misbah. "Junaid has improved through his own commitment and hard work. He has done it by going through difficult situations, and his temperament he has shown in crunch situations. When you need someone, at some point to take wickets, you look to someone like Ajmal, but Junaid is also one of those now, as one you can give the ball to and he will respond. He has everything now."

Everything and maybe now even an on-field personality, beyond just that endearing, momentum-gathering hop at the start of his run-up (higher now, for some reason than before). There is a chain around his neck, an essential accoutrement for all pedigree fast bowlers. The little tuft of facial hair beneath the lip has not gone unnoticed. The hair is catching up to contemporary fashion (the faux hawk could happen but longer locks, to add to the effect of the run-up, are always preferable). Those wicket celebrations are a little too uncontrolled and uncoordinated right now, high on adrenalin, low on image-building. What might really help, though, is a big series, in England or Australia. As he pointed out after picking up his fourth five-wicket haul, all against Sri Lanka, the bulk of his Test achievements are against them because half of his 14 Tests have come against them. That, by every comparison, is a fairly low-voltage contest.

During that first Test with Sri Lanka, he reached 50 Test wickets, in 14 Tests. That, nobody will have missed, is the exact number of Tests Amir played, and Junaid has just one wicket fewer. The averages and strike rates don't have much between them, though they couldn't be more apart in the way they were arrived at. Amir, and his absence, will forever remain a deep wound of course. But at least, in Junaid, there is hope of an eventual balm.

Osman Samiuddin is a sportswriter at the National

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • Saeed.Lodhi on January 12, 2014, 11:56 GMT

    Waiting for the Day when Amir returns to International Cricket ! ! !

  • on January 11, 2014, 19:37 GMT

    Imran Khalil Yousafzai: I disagree with you. Nobody has ever thought that Junaid Khan is a Pathan. He is a Pakistan team member and that's enough. The only reason Aamir was more celebrated because he bowled in tandem with Asif and both of them were lethal together and played a bigger role in Pakistani Victories including T20 World Cup win. Btw a lot of Pakistani and even Indian Cricket stars have been of Pathan decent and fans love them because of their game.

  • alischeme on January 11, 2014, 12:48 GMT

    In Sha Allah he'll go far. Just imagine ..........Amir comes back, takes some time to bring himself to the SAME level...and then we have these lefties attacking at the start....ahhh...that would be AWESOME.

  • on January 11, 2014, 7:41 GMT

    well written! but I am sorry to say that Junaid bowls with similar pace and attitude on all kind of pitches. He has to use his lethal stamina acc to whether and pitch condition.

  • Zahidsaltin on January 11, 2014, 0:10 GMT

    Which three of the following five will you like to include in test teams playing in 2015 after that the ban is lifted. Mohammad Irfan, Mohammad Amir, Umar Gul, Mohammad Asif and Junaid. I would love to play a five bowler attack consisting, Mohammad Asif, Mohammad Irfan, Mohammad Amir, Junaid Khan and Ajmal. I wished some of them could bat too.

  • akshay_heble on January 9, 2014, 15:06 GMT

    One of the many great talents of Pakistan. For me the day Pakistan stop producing quality fast bowlers, that will be the death of Pakistani cricket..Being an Indian and a bowler I used to look up to Wasim Akram, Waqar Younis and Shoaib Akhtar as my idols.. Even after Amir and Asif were suspended it amazes me how the Pakistani Bowling is still so strong. I can wait for Amir and even Asif, if fitness permits him to, return to international cricket as both are amazing bowlers... I always wish India, like batsmans also prduce quality pace bowlers, but that hasn't happened since our inception. Maybe Kapil Dev can be considered as an ecxception but then again he wasn't a tear away fast bowler like waqar and shoaib..

  • on January 9, 2014, 9:19 GMT

    still wondering his performance against india in india ithink the best spell of bowling from a pakistani pacer against india after a long gap

  • on January 9, 2014, 9:17 GMT

    great find for pak

  • on January 9, 2014, 5:34 GMT

    Muhammad aamir took 31 wickets in 6 tests on ENGLAND PTCHES. While junaid khan has all his success on flat tracks in UAE and SL. I rate him much higher than Amir. His only fault is that he is a pathan. That's y media doesnt potray him as a hero.

  • outforhatrick on January 9, 2014, 0:51 GMT

    Good bowler...for death overs...agreed at the moment Pak's prime bowler

  • Saeed.Lodhi on January 12, 2014, 11:56 GMT

    Waiting for the Day when Amir returns to International Cricket ! ! !

  • on January 11, 2014, 19:37 GMT

    Imran Khalil Yousafzai: I disagree with you. Nobody has ever thought that Junaid Khan is a Pathan. He is a Pakistan team member and that's enough. The only reason Aamir was more celebrated because he bowled in tandem with Asif and both of them were lethal together and played a bigger role in Pakistani Victories including T20 World Cup win. Btw a lot of Pakistani and even Indian Cricket stars have been of Pathan decent and fans love them because of their game.

  • alischeme on January 11, 2014, 12:48 GMT

    In Sha Allah he'll go far. Just imagine ..........Amir comes back, takes some time to bring himself to the SAME level...and then we have these lefties attacking at the start....ahhh...that would be AWESOME.

  • on January 11, 2014, 7:41 GMT

    well written! but I am sorry to say that Junaid bowls with similar pace and attitude on all kind of pitches. He has to use his lethal stamina acc to whether and pitch condition.

  • Zahidsaltin on January 11, 2014, 0:10 GMT

    Which three of the following five will you like to include in test teams playing in 2015 after that the ban is lifted. Mohammad Irfan, Mohammad Amir, Umar Gul, Mohammad Asif and Junaid. I would love to play a five bowler attack consisting, Mohammad Asif, Mohammad Irfan, Mohammad Amir, Junaid Khan and Ajmal. I wished some of them could bat too.

  • akshay_heble on January 9, 2014, 15:06 GMT

    One of the many great talents of Pakistan. For me the day Pakistan stop producing quality fast bowlers, that will be the death of Pakistani cricket..Being an Indian and a bowler I used to look up to Wasim Akram, Waqar Younis and Shoaib Akhtar as my idols.. Even after Amir and Asif were suspended it amazes me how the Pakistani Bowling is still so strong. I can wait for Amir and even Asif, if fitness permits him to, return to international cricket as both are amazing bowlers... I always wish India, like batsmans also prduce quality pace bowlers, but that hasn't happened since our inception. Maybe Kapil Dev can be considered as an ecxception but then again he wasn't a tear away fast bowler like waqar and shoaib..

  • on January 9, 2014, 9:19 GMT

    still wondering his performance against india in india ithink the best spell of bowling from a pakistani pacer against india after a long gap

  • on January 9, 2014, 9:17 GMT

    great find for pak

  • on January 9, 2014, 5:34 GMT

    Muhammad aamir took 31 wickets in 6 tests on ENGLAND PTCHES. While junaid khan has all his success on flat tracks in UAE and SL. I rate him much higher than Amir. His only fault is that he is a pathan. That's y media doesnt potray him as a hero.

  • outforhatrick on January 9, 2014, 0:51 GMT

    Good bowler...for death overs...agreed at the moment Pak's prime bowler

  • shahnbej on January 8, 2014, 23:45 GMT

    @Dannymania. Playing in England or Australia are haven for fast bowler as compare to subcontinent or Middle East pitches. So please don't underestimate Junaid and compare with Aamir, because in real life Junaid is more sensible and mature than Aamir and Aamir is only a good bowler.

  • sudhir98 on January 8, 2014, 23:16 GMT

    really dannymania? M.amir was way better? It is an insult to compare that guy to Junaid who is honest.

  • on January 8, 2014, 21:10 GMT

    junaid

  • on January 8, 2014, 20:09 GMT

    Guys!!! dont forget who tells the world about reverse swing..........

  • Dannymania on January 8, 2014, 19:40 GMT

    Very good Write up.Loved reading it. Junaid khan has undoubtedly become a strike bowler that the pakistani team can depend upon.Lets face it though, he is not a "M.Amir" who had great control over his swing which is ultimately what's required.And, M Amir played most of his test matches against the likes of Australia & England at their backyard.So we cannot say that Junaid khan is in any way a better, or equals, M Amir who was a sensation which will always be missed.And also, M Amir could bat which Junaid khan cannot do.M Amir was much more dependable than Junaid khan.So this comparison is just Not fair as these two have a huge gap in talent,Control,potential,lethality and wicket taking abilities even.But, right now, junaid khan is a very good bowler and thats all that counts.If we compare him to M Amir though,thats a no brainer for me.M Amir was way better.

  • Harmony_not_Discord on January 8, 2014, 18:43 GMT

    "There is a chain around his neck, an essential accoutrement for all pedigree fast bowlers". Nicely put...funny!

  • on January 8, 2014, 18:42 GMT

    Wow, talk about an article that leaves no question undiscussed. I loved reading it, pretty spot on!

  • heartbreakerz on January 8, 2014, 16:05 GMT

    Junaid Khan is one of the best young fast bowlers in the world at present. If he keeps working hard, he can become one of greats

  • heartbreakerz on January 8, 2014, 15:59 GMT

    @BCCIRoxx...you are saying that "Wasim Akram is the only great Pakistani bowler....n others are overrated

    You should go n have a look at stats of Imran n Waqar who have a better avg n SR than most bowlers. Imran, Waqar n Wasim are all time greats...without any doubt.

    @CricIndia208...at the moment Junaid khan has a better SR n avg than your greats 'kapil dev n kumble' so if he's overrated then i wonder what you would say about kapil n kumble.

  • dariuscorny on January 8, 2014, 15:34 GMT

    everyone in Pak cries for Mohd. Amir as rare talent,but this guy to me is hands down ahead in talent,discipline and temperament.most potent bowling weapon of Pak attack nowadays ,is often under rated.But his action does not goes down well to me....

  • on January 8, 2014, 14:55 GMT

    @ BCCIRox: I did look up Cricinfo and here is the results.

    Imran Khan: 88 matches, 362 wickets at 22.81 Average Waqar Younis: 87 matches, 373 wickets at 23.56 Average Wasim Akram: 104 matches, 414 wickets at 23.62 Average

    Both Imran and Waqar has better wickets/match played and better average than Wasim. Waqaresq is a proverb ... and Imran Khan is a legend due to his phenomenal abilities as a leader of men and all round performances as well as being a sex symbol. Just for comparison, here are the bowling stats of other leading bowlers of their era:

    Glenn McGrath 124 matches, 563 wickets at 21.64 Ave Allan Donald 72 matches 330 wickets at 22.25 Kapil Dev 131 matches, 434 wickets at 29.64 Javagal Srinath 67 matches 236 wickets at 30.49 Ian Botham 102 matches 383 wickets at 28.40 Dennis Lille 70 matches 355 wickets at 23.92 Jeff Thomson 51 matches 200 wickets at 28.00

    As you can see, the truly great fast bowlers have averages of 23 or better. I rest my case.

  • BCCIRoxx on January 8, 2014, 14:33 GMT

    I don't why is there such hoohaa over CricIndia208's comment? If you really analyze, Pakistan only has Wasim Akram in the list of "Great Fast Bowlers".... Imran was a good bowler but he is more famous for his all-round and leadership skills. All the others followed by Wasim are not "exceptional" bowlers. Just average bowlers which Pakistani fans over-rate. If you still have any doubts just go through CRICINFO's statsguru and verify the averages and strike rates yourself.

  • on January 8, 2014, 12:06 GMT

    hope he makes most of his potential and not end up like other pakistani bowlers in this decade, who ruined their career due to off field stupidity. Good luck. Amazing talent.

  • fayyaz03 on January 8, 2014, 11:47 GMT

    The great thing about junaid khan which I like most, and the thing which is going to make Junaid from Good to Great in the future is that at the age below 25 he has already learned to bring the ball back in for the right handers at around 145kph. But remember! Consistency will always remain the key.

  • on January 8, 2014, 11:32 GMT

    Good but not consistent

  • nh00 on January 8, 2014, 9:46 GMT

    i remember watching him the first time when Pakistan came touring to India. I cleared out all plans to watch the latest pace sensation - the giant... Irfan - bowl. He (Irfan) was negotiated (albeit with a lot of difficulty) by our guys, but what was happening at the other end was mind blowing. I mean it's not just the wickets Junaid got, but the way he got them, the way he set each batsman up that was so beautiful to watch. We Indians absolutely love beating Pakistan in the cricket field, but a major part of that emotion is the respect for the talent across the border, Junaid is another example of that... Respect!! from India

  • on January 8, 2014, 9:27 GMT

    Thansk for this master-piece Osman Sahb. As in my humble opinion Junaid Khan has been the unsung hero and most un-celebrated player by Pakistan team Management, fans and fanatics, and even by the Skipper to some extent also. He did not get the attention and praise he deserved after Pak's Test win against South Africa, and ODI series win in South Africa. his bad-luck is that we often have compared him to Amir, and although he has given almost the same results as of Amir but still i believe that when Amir will come back (insha'ALLAH) we will forget Junaid's great work. But such articles can really make us love him and support him. And even now with Gul, Junain and Irfan, and the emergence of Bhatti and Anwar Ali Pak attack looks quite balanced and promising. With the inclusion of Amir it will be to its menacing best. please please please publish cricinfo.

  • dganger on January 8, 2014, 9:03 GMT

    Fantastic bowler, he can be one of the greats of the game in future. The thing that strikes me most is his humble and balanced nature in the field and yes, he got the blessings too. So good wishes from an Indian... hope we can find a quality bowler like him someday.

  • ShanoJee on January 8, 2014, 8:42 GMT

    Well, i agreed with @ SR_SAJJAD, he is absolutely right, this continued happened with Pakistan Cricket, they pick the players from only one region (PUNJAB) and ignore all the parts of the country, that is the main reason why we are not consistent on performance wise.

  • on January 8, 2014, 7:57 GMT

    Best cricket writer ever.

  • pitch_curator on January 8, 2014, 7:47 GMT

    Very good bowler. But too early to bracket him as great. He has the ingredients though. One or two times I have seen listless on the field after having a poor opening spell, but he seems to bowl better with the older ball. As far as his bowling against India is concerned, he has played only 4 games (of which one was in a rain soaked pitch in Chennai where the ball swung all over the place - he took 4, another was in Birmingham where he got to bowl only 4 overs and picked none as India won easily) so too early for passing that judgment. As far as test matches go, I don't think he bowled well in SAF. He bowled well against Sri Lanka. So, may be he likes sub-continental conditions where the ball reverses more than SAF/Aus/Eng conditions.

  • on January 8, 2014, 7:45 GMT

    CricIndia208. I laugh at your ignorance. You guys are always good for a laugh. lol

  • SR_SAJJAD on January 8, 2014, 7:34 GMT

    Junaid khan has every thing that makes great fast bowlers.It is a general perception that Players other than Punjab province do not get fair support from PCB and media too. Greatness of You as Khan is seldom acknowledged.Umar Gul is seldom praised by Pakistani experts like Amir Sohail. Hafeez is unfairly favoured. some time it looks like Lahori Cricket Team rather than Pakistan Team.

  • Emancipator007 on January 8, 2014, 7:33 GMT

    Eagerly waiting for Irfan, Juanid,Amir, Ajmal (only has about 3 playing years left) to team up soon- Gul/Wahab/Bhatti/Rahman in reserves.Wahab has hustling pace(key dynamic for wicket-taking), needs to be coached ONLY by Akram to develop variety & control). World cricket gets spicier/competitive with a "temperamental" & potent Pak bowling attack. Agree with @Rahul78:Pak team management/cric establishment are bad at managing/optimizing players' talents/personas. Akthar wud have won more Tests for Pak had his "personality" (Chapelli,Waugh gave free reign to boorish Liilee/McGrath knowing they wud win matches for OZ) been managed.Similarly, needs to be remembered that Umar Akmal has played all his matches abroad,such a dynamic,free-stroking batsman not getting regular Tests is shocking. Pak shud take aggressive 40s/50s from Umar in Tests to win/help his bowlers win Tests.

  • on January 8, 2014, 7:28 GMT

    junaid is hard working bowler. most of his wickets are on the wickets which didnt support fast bowling that much. amir was different talent but no doubt junaid has something in him. its his dedication and hard work which pays off. he always bowl with his heart. i hope he continues for pakistan in future

  • scdkee on January 8, 2014, 7:04 GMT

    @osman: about the comparison with amir, i feel that most people under-rate junaid in this regard. although the stats of both are almost the same (similar number of wickets per match and average), but the significant difference is the conditions in which they bowled. barring only 3 tests each in South Africa and to an extent in Zimbabwe, junaid has played the rest of his matches (8 in all) in conditions not suited for fast/swing bowling (UAE, SL). Compared to this, apart from 3 tests played in conditions NOT suited to swing/fast bowling, amir has played the rest in conditions that are favorable (Australia, New Zealand, England). so to have matched amir who bowled in fast bowler friendy conditions with the assistance of asif and gul in the team, as compared to irfan, rahat, aizaz cheema in the case of junaid, is no small feat.

  • Rahul_78 on January 8, 2014, 6:57 GMT

    The best way to explain Junaid is he is a NATURAL BORN FAST BOWLER. Good pace, good variations, good stamina and build and his feet are grounded yet. He has been imperative to Pakistan's success recently. I am so glad that he manged to come through. There was a short period when he was benched for few other new comers and the decision lacked any cricketing logic. If given an opportunity India will happily trade Dhawan or Rohit for him. Kudos to Osman for writing an article on Junaid and taking time to explain his rise and achievements to the public. Pak selectors, coaches and fans are unforgivable on their fast bowlers because country keep churning them at will but media support to the deserving ones and with quality can help them sustain their stay in the playing XI.

  • on January 8, 2014, 6:51 GMT

    nice article very well written and thanks for writing again on Pakistan Cricket i thoroughly miss your following and would love you to continue the same as we are not been as celebrated on our performances as other team players are so need writers like you to project the green shirts in the light they deserved to be mentioned

  • on January 8, 2014, 6:40 GMT

    lets hope he will continue his success streak

  • on January 8, 2014, 6:26 GMT

    Great stuff omar.. keep them coming.

  • on January 8, 2014, 5:42 GMT

    excellent article......truly depicts the rise of Junaid Khan and the comparison with other flamboyant Pakistani quick's is out of this world

  • UmarKhan85 on January 8, 2014, 5:31 GMT

    @ CricIndia208 LOL.. i know where that came from.. you guys still don't have any bowlers (not even one) that could match the skill or talent of the ones we have and keep on producing.. and btw you know the definition of overrated ? two words: ISHANT SHARMA!

  • aa61761 on January 8, 2014, 5:00 GMT

    @CricIndia208 Junaid has far better record at this early stage of this career than most of the Indian fast bowlers ever achieved in their life time. In other word, Indians should not talk about fast bowling - first India needs to produce a great fast bowler then Indians can pass comments about fast bowling.

  • humi_cric on January 8, 2014, 5:00 GMT

    @CricIndia208, What? has done nothing?????? but last time Pakistan visited India, he was the one who demolished Indian top order and Pakistan won the series. Beating India in India, on a batting friendly pitches, infornt of a huge Indian team supporter crowd, is something because India is a very good one day side, no doubt. From a Pakistan Fan (big fan of Junaid Khan).

  • hiranjanSL on January 8, 2014, 4:59 GMT

    This guy is a gem.Fascinating aspect is he performs wonderfully on unresponsive pitches in Indian/UAE than any other pacer in the WORLD!His pace is also improved by 10k's over the last 2 years.So it would be just a matter of adjusting the length before he would excel in AUS/SA or ENG pitches...All the best from a Sri Lankan fan...

  • on January 8, 2014, 4:54 GMT

    @CricIndia208, another overrated Pakistani Bowler? That's why your overrated batting lineup was shattered by this overrated Pakistani bowler in your own backyard. Hope you remember.

  • on January 8, 2014, 4:53 GMT

    Well articulated as always but please there is no need of comparing a passionate player with someone for whom money came before country! .... all the best for Junaid and Pakistan in the year 2014 and hope that this year we can retain the Asia Cup and regain the 20/20 Crown

  • xtrafalgarx on January 8, 2014, 4:45 GMT

    One of the most over rated bowlers in recent times. His stats don't read too badly. But don't tell me a medium pacer who has only played 14 tests is the best in the world...please.

  • 0mar1 on January 8, 2014, 4:43 GMT

    @CricIndia - my sympathies with our Indian friends, who can't even come up with an "overrated" bowler let alone the genuine article ;-)

  • ajmaldomintesswann on January 8, 2014, 4:42 GMT

    @cricindia208...the way he tamed your so-called great kohli is enough to say that junaid is better than zaheer,kapil dev and srinath combined.lol

  • CricIndia208 on January 8, 2014, 4:14 GMT

    Yet another overrated Pakistani bowler. Has done nothing worthwhile so far. Let's hope he does not go the asif, Amir, rana route.

  • mainul079080 on January 8, 2014, 3:44 GMT

    Junaed i think is already better than Wasim was at this time of carrier. And their record tells us the same story in same number of matches. What Wasim did was to improve him a great as a swing fast bowler, the tremendous control he had over everything. And he got the luxury of debut at only 18 years of age, Junaed at 22.What makes me most hopeful is that Junaed is a hard working lad and he will definitely improve inshallah. I want to make my eyes calm by seeing another Wasim bowl. I miss you Wasim...

  • on January 8, 2014, 3:39 GMT

    Delightful article, Osman!

  • on January 8, 2014, 3:11 GMT

    Very well organized article, he may be a better talent and ever-lasting talent than Mohammed Amir. I am only speculating but time will tell the real story.

  • on January 8, 2014, 2:50 GMT

    I like this hardworking guy and I know him fro the last 13 years. We played together and he has a very bright future in front of him. I miss you Junaid.

    Rashid Ahmad

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  • on January 8, 2014, 2:50 GMT

    I like this hardworking guy and I know him fro the last 13 years. We played together and he has a very bright future in front of him. I miss you Junaid.

    Rashid Ahmad

  • on January 8, 2014, 3:11 GMT

    Very well organized article, he may be a better talent and ever-lasting talent than Mohammed Amir. I am only speculating but time will tell the real story.

  • on January 8, 2014, 3:39 GMT

    Delightful article, Osman!

  • mainul079080 on January 8, 2014, 3:44 GMT

    Junaed i think is already better than Wasim was at this time of carrier. And their record tells us the same story in same number of matches. What Wasim did was to improve him a great as a swing fast bowler, the tremendous control he had over everything. And he got the luxury of debut at only 18 years of age, Junaed at 22.What makes me most hopeful is that Junaed is a hard working lad and he will definitely improve inshallah. I want to make my eyes calm by seeing another Wasim bowl. I miss you Wasim...

  • CricIndia208 on January 8, 2014, 4:14 GMT

    Yet another overrated Pakistani bowler. Has done nothing worthwhile so far. Let's hope he does not go the asif, Amir, rana route.

  • ajmaldomintesswann on January 8, 2014, 4:42 GMT

    @cricindia208...the way he tamed your so-called great kohli is enough to say that junaid is better than zaheer,kapil dev and srinath combined.lol

  • 0mar1 on January 8, 2014, 4:43 GMT

    @CricIndia - my sympathies with our Indian friends, who can't even come up with an "overrated" bowler let alone the genuine article ;-)

  • xtrafalgarx on January 8, 2014, 4:45 GMT

    One of the most over rated bowlers in recent times. His stats don't read too badly. But don't tell me a medium pacer who has only played 14 tests is the best in the world...please.

  • on January 8, 2014, 4:53 GMT

    Well articulated as always but please there is no need of comparing a passionate player with someone for whom money came before country! .... all the best for Junaid and Pakistan in the year 2014 and hope that this year we can retain the Asia Cup and regain the 20/20 Crown

  • on January 8, 2014, 4:54 GMT

    @CricIndia208, another overrated Pakistani Bowler? That's why your overrated batting lineup was shattered by this overrated Pakistani bowler in your own backyard. Hope you remember.