Adnan Akmal expects speedy recovery from surgery
Adnan Akmal, Pakistan's Test wicketkeeper, has said he is recovering well from the surgery to his left ring finger and will take his time before resuming training ahead of the South Africa tour early next year.
Adnan suffered a hairline fracture during the opening day of the Pallekele Test against Sri Lanka last month when trying to fend off a delivery from Dilhara Fernando. He retired hurt on 10 but returned to take his score to 24. He batted bravely in the second innings, defying Sri Lanka with a stubborn partnership with Asad Shafiq to stretch Pakistan's lead. It helped Pakistan save the Test.
Adnan, who is not part of Pakistan's limited-overs plans, underwent surgery last month and he said there's sufficient time for him to recover before Pakistan's next Test series, in February.
"The surgery went well and the doctors are satisfied," Adnan told ESPNcricinfo. "The single layer rods around it (the finger) will be removed next week. I will start my rehabilitation later this month and have plenty of time ahead of the tour of South Africa."
Adnan said there was no point in rushing his recovery. "This is the first time I have been idle for such a long time with injury but it's a part of life for a cricketer," he said. "Finger injuries are routine for a wicketkeeper, and sometimes you have a bad day. I am fine and will make a full recovery in a few weeks. Once I'm fit, I will ensure I won't get complacent."
His elder brother Kamran Akmal, who last played for Pakistan in the 2011 World Cup, was recently recalled to Pakistan's limited-overs squads for the tour of UAE and the World Twenty20 after being cleared by the PCB integrity committee. In Kamran's absence, the selectors had tried out separate wicketkeepers for each format with Shakeel Ansar and Sarfraz Ahmed for T20s and ODIs respectively, but both were overlooked in favour of Kamran. Adnan said he wasn't insecure about his place in the Test squad following Kamran's selection in the other formats.
"I am not worried at all," Adnan said. "We play for our country and the best out of the lot get picked, so there is no point in being insecure. I can't say much about him as we are selected based on our individual performances. I so far have played ample number of Test matches (16) and hope to serve the country for long."
Iqbal Qasim, the chairman of selectors, said that Kamran has always been the favourite for limited-overs matches due to his batting. "We have tried lots of wicketkeeper-batsmen after Kamran, but nothing was panning out," Qasim said. "We need a solid wicketkeeper who can score quick runs and currently Kamran is the only option for us. He has maintained his fitness and more importantly, he has been cleared by the PCB."
Umar Farooq is ESPNcricinfo's Pakistan correspondent