Pakistan news February 8, 2013

Taufeeq stays positive despite injury

Taufeeq Umar, the Pakistan opener who was forced out of the South Africa tour through injury, does not feel any insecurity despite conceding his place at the top of the order to Nasir Jamshed.

A shin injured curtailed Taufeeq's tour before the first Test. He had become a settled part of the team following a recall in 2010 after Salman Butt was caught for spot-fixing. In 18 Tests during the second phase of his career he has scored 1214 runs at 37.93 including a career-best 236 against Sri Lanka in Abu Dhabi.

For any player forced out by injured there is always the risk that the replacement makes the place his, but Taufeeq is confident he will be able to reclaim his berth.

"Injury is always a setback for any player in world cricket," said Taufeeq. "I was unfortunate to have it at such a wrong time. But I was lucky it was not a serious injury and I am positive about my future. I only require another four weeks to get back in shape. The disappointment is obviously there as I was looking forward to the South Africa tour for a long time as I always enjoy playing against them and score a lot of runs.

"Injuries do come but that doesn't mean that is it. I have been doing well since my comeback in 2010 and have nothing to fear about. The next months obviously are tough but I am ready to put in all the hard work to reclaim my place in the side."

Taufeeq, 31, is Pakistan's second highest run-scorer against South Africa since his debut with 730 including two hundreds. He also had an impressive tour of the country in 2002-03 when he made 280 runs.

"There are certain teams I love to score runs against and South Africa is one of them," he said. "I need not worry at all about whoever comes in to replace me. It's in fact a good sign as there is a sense of competition for the slot, which is good for the team. I have good wishes for Nasir or whoever replaces me what is important is that they perform well. I am positive and have nothing to lose, I know I am around and will be available for the next series."

Although Taufeeq should be fit again within a month he will have to wait until June for Pakistan's next Test assignment when they visit West Indies. He is frustrated by Pakistan's lack of Tests and admits it will be a challenge for him not to becoming rusty. In the last five years Pakistan have played 35 Tests, with only Bangladesh and Zimbabwe having had fewer.

"This is the reason I am bit upset about my injury," Taufeeq said. "Last time I played a Test was against Sri Lanka some six months back and sometime the gap is more than that so it's hard for a Test batsman to keep himself in the best shape.

"The last domestic season didn't go well for me. I wasn't up to the mark but don't want to make any excuses. I am standing tall and looking forward for positive prospects for my Test career."

Umar Farooq is ESPNcricinfo's Pakistan correspondent

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • Jawwad on February 10, 2013, 3:59 GMT

    Good luck Taufeeq. Hope you make a speedy recovery. It's a shame we missed you out on SA tour. What happened? Were you not match ready during practices? Lay off from Test matches may have played a role too. I am thinking Hafeez may feel more prudent while Taufeeq at the other end.

  • Dummy4 on February 9, 2013, 13:29 GMT

    With Hafeez not being the top performer as a test opener, there is always a chance for Tofeeq to make a come back. Azhar ali has temperament but lacks the technique required at this level. There are a number of promising players in the circuit who can replace non performers and it will also increase bench strength. I personally feel hat Younis should continue at test level for a couple of years more so tht younger players have ample time to get adjusted at international level.

  • khurram on February 8, 2013, 17:31 GMT

    Yes he was pretty ok in this phase of his career. with hafeez's problem against new ball, it will be good option that Jamshed and Toufeq opens and hafeez come down. There are some coments about thin tail, yes pakistan lacks a batting medium pace allrounder in all formats, plus they also need a batting wicket keeper.

  • Dummy4 on February 8, 2013, 15:58 GMT

    i hope he will be return and i think shoaib malik aur kamran akmal suitable selection in this series .,.,

  • I on February 8, 2013, 15:04 GMT

    @ArmChairUmpire your call for a genuine allrounder is interesting. With people looking to what Kallis does, the benchmark is pretty high, and it is tough to isolate a player who can make it in the team bowling or batting alone.-What do you think of Hammad Azam?

    Lack of test cricket is a problem - the PCB shouldn't be shy about organising more tests with weaker teams like Bangladesh, Zimbabwe or New Zealand, outside the FTP, or more A tours with first-class matches vs associate nations

  • jose on February 8, 2013, 14:38 GMT

    I enjoyed this positive approach by Taufeeq. Looks like he is trying hard and blaming nobody else. I like the suggestion that he should open with Jamshedpur with Hafeez moving down the order. It might also be good for Younis to make way for a younger player. Misbah is one of those players who still demonstrates the ability to stay there and bat. It is important in Test matches, especially if the team has a long tail. If one looks at the batting line ups, only Pakistan and Sri Lanka (among the major teams) are down and out once wicket number 6 is out. PCB must look at developing genuine all rounders. The present team looks OK for 30 overs. After that ...

  • Dummy4 on February 8, 2013, 14:20 GMT

    he will return with a bang.. :)

  • Zaki on February 8, 2013, 12:35 GMT

    Taufiq and Nasir should open and Hafeez should bat at No. 4 in tests. While Younis and Misbah (or at least any one) should be retired asap.

  • No featured comments at the moment.