Pakistan v Sri Lanka, 1st Test, Abu Dhabi, 1st day October 18, 2011

Junaid aims to fill void left by Amir

ESPNcricinfo staff

Junaid Khan, the Pakistan left-arm seamer, who picked up his maiden five-wicket haul in international cricket on the first day of the first Test against Sri Lanka in Abu Dhabi, has said he is keen on filling the void left by Mohammad Amir, who hasn't played for Pakistan since the spot-fixing controversy broke out last year. Junaid, 21, who plays for Abbottabad on Pakistan's domestic circuit, grabbed 5 for 38 to bowl out Sri Lanka for 197 in conditions favourable for batting and put his team in control.

"I will do my best to fill the void and do as well as my team needs," Junaid said after the day's play. I am delighted with my effort but all the bowlers did well, no one man can get a team out."

His wickets included the two Jayawardenes: Mahela was caught stabbing to slip while Prasanna was cleaned up by a superb yorker. There was a bit of assistance from the track, Junaid said. "There was a little bit of seam early but otherwise, I used the yorker and mixed the bowling up. It's pleasing to get them out for a low score."

Junaid has toured with Pakistan's youth teams and also played for Lancashire. He was grateful to some of Pakistan's fast-bowling greats, whose guidance he's received and benefitted from. "I am quite lucky that way. During the [2011] World Cup, there was Aaqib Javed and Waqar, and alongside them Wasim also gave tips on how to bowl. I started playing cricket only after watching Imran.

"When I went to Lancashire, Wasim used to call me and tell me how to bowl, how to use the conditions," Khan said. "That stint was very helpful. There I learnt how to seam, how to swing the ball, how to bowl a yorker."

Angelo Mathews, who top-scored with 52 for Sri Lanka, said the track was a good one for batting and admitted Sri Lanka batted poorly. "We lost our way in the second session, the batsmen did not bat well," he said. "The second session made a huge difference where we lost about six wickets in four-five overs.

"It was a pretty good batting wicket. Whoever hits the wicket hard had a bit off a nip off the wicket. All in all it was a very good wicket, Khan did hit the deck hard and got the reward."

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • Dummy4 on October 19, 2011, 13:29 GMT

    @Arif Amjad: Isn't is great to split the laurels among the bowlers? No one doubts that Amir was a prodigy and Asif a veritable magician . Junaid has shown that discipline and perseverance can pay too. Besides, from the status quo, Amir and Asif are history, sad though it is! @truth1: That's great news! We have been wanting to see Sadaf in the national team ever since watching him bowl on youtube. The selectors can't ignore him forever.

  • Dummy4 on October 19, 2011, 10:57 GMT

    Offcourse the left armer has the ability to play at international circuit, and perform similary as Amir was doing. But it all depends upon PCB how he treat him and provide the maximum opportunities to groom himself. Anyway he proves his position in this match. Let's pressure is building on Wahab Riaz how he handles the Junaid pressure. I think it will be a good competition.

  • DINESH on October 19, 2011, 9:42 GMT


  • Muhammad on October 19, 2011, 9:38 GMT

    Amir was a natural beauty... He was God gifted skilled bowler, and Junaid is less skilled but hard working guy as compare to amir. Junaid can't bowl deliveries like Amir but he is good alternative until Amir came back.

  • Muthuvel on October 19, 2011, 9:32 GMT

    swings it late bowls around 135 ks slower than Amir but lethal. being an indian i would like to understand how on earth does pak produce fast swing bowlers in such numbers, please cant take it anymore.

  • Dummy4 on October 19, 2011, 8:51 GMT

    Yes i agreed this guy looks honest and good luck Junaid Khan

  • Amjad on October 19, 2011, 8:39 GMT

    @ chilled_avenger - well said... why should we give such a hype to a player like Amir who got into a controversy by leaving his country behind for something else. I would rather prefer Junaid Khan in the team than Amir after all that he has done. Junaid Khan is a good prospect & if he works hard he can take over Amir soon.

  • Dummy4 on October 19, 2011, 7:40 GMT

    Aamir was a good bowler there is no doubt....but if Junaid keeps on hard working then he surely have the potential to pass even Aamir.....hoping to see that day soon.....I will also have to remind that the command of Pakistani pace attack is still with Umar shouldn't ignore he contribution too

  • Rakesh on October 19, 2011, 7:13 GMT

    @Qasim Shabbir - very well said. That would be a dream team and a world beater. Bet they can defeat any team on any surface any time. Always admired Wasim n Waqar. You have ur share of gr88 batsman as well. Zaheer Abbas, Javed Miaded etc. Not to forget the gr88 allrounder Imran. Its sad we have to two different teams.

  • Dummy4 on October 19, 2011, 7:11 GMT

    @ Mustafa Pasha i request that u should look at the brighter side of things that the boy stood up and performed like a man and watching Imran Khan is not a big thing u turn on any tv channel that shows cricket you'll see Imran eventually and back then the National tv aired the '92 world cup countless times so no need of being skeptical, support the team and Junaid Khan

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