Pakistan news April 25, 2013

Junaid upbeat about pace spearhead role


Junaid Khan, the Pakistan fast bowler, is confident that his prior county experience with Lancashire will help him lead the attack in the absence of Umar Gul during the Champions Trophy in England this summer.

"I played for Lancashire and learnt about the conditions in England which are helpful for swing bowling, so that will surely come good when I play in the Champions Trophy," Junaid told reporters at a camp for Pakistan seamers. "Learning is a never-ending process and in this camp Wasim [Akram] told me how to improve my inswingers and yorkers which are considered as the two best weapons for a left-arm bowler."

Junaid, 23, had a memorable 2011 stint with Lancashire in the Friends Life t20 and was set to appear for another season last year but couldn't due to international commitments. He last toured England in 2007, with the Pakistan Under-19 team, that included Mohammad Amir. He failed to make an impact, taking only one wicket in five unofficial one-dayers and a Test.

He is currently among the 23 fast bowlers working with Wasim Akram in Karachi in a 10-day specialised camp. Over the last one and half year, he has been the permanent fast-bowler for Pakistan. In the last twelve months, Junaid has emerged the second highest wicket-taker for Pakistan after Saeed Ajmal in all three formats, with 37 wickets at 22.18 in 15 matches.

"I am wary about the role (in absence of Gul) and will definitely do my best to cover for his absence, but he will be missed," Junaid said. "I know there are expectations and I am determined to continue my good work. Every player comes into the national team after performing at the local level and once they are in the team there are always expectations.

"Wasim told us how to show aggression towards a batsman and I am developing that. I was the most aggressive bowler on the tour to India and then South Africa." He picked up eight wickets in three ODIs against India earlier this year.

Akram, who recommended Junaid to Lancashire in 2011, applauded his talent. "He has the capacity to spearhead Pakistan's attack and after noticing his talent I recommended his name to Lancashire," said Wasim, who represented the county in the 1980s and 90s. "As a young boy he did well for Lancashire and his ability to learn will help him in the Champions Trophy."

Pakistan will play two one-day internationals each against Ireland and Scotland in May before competing in the Champions Trophy.

Umar Farooq is ESPNcricinfo's Pakistan correspondent. He tweets here

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • zaf on April 29, 2013, 4:30 GMT

    we agree with Sports4Youth comments, PCB should give chance to young talented players. AFRIDI is lone king of ODI/T20 and should be CAPT. We are missing little boom Abdul-Razzak, he should be given a chance for UK tour.

    There should be 3 different teams for 3 different format test/ODI/T20. That truth batting is main issue for PAK & that also truth Misbah-Mr tuktuk, Younis-khan, Asad Safiq batting not deserve them in ODI/T20 side. We already waste time & given them so much chances and they always failed, Now PCB need to hire fast players for fast format game ODI/T20.

  • Cricket on April 28, 2013, 20:18 GMT

    Though Pakistan is the country of Safraz Nawaz, Imran Khan, Waseem Akram, Waqar Younis, Shoeb Akhtar etc, the present Pool of fast bowlers are not of the same calibre. The reason being that Pakistan stuck to U.Gul, W.Riaz, S.Tanvir, M.Sami for far too long. Thease guys kept failing and showed zero improvement. Now JUNAID & IRFAN are showing good promise. But as some wise person has said "there is always room for improvement".

    But according to me the main far Pakistan is fielding and batting. Yes I am putting fielding ahead of batting because accroding to me in SA, Pakistan lost due to their fielding. Even in the last match, Imran farhat dropped develiers and it was a very costly miss. In India, Pakistan won because they fielded well.

    BATTING has always been Pakistan's weekest suit. But here to PCB should move beyond Younis, Misbah, S.Mallik & I.Farhat. GIVE SOME DECENT OPPORTUNITIES TO YOUNGSTERS.


  • Dummy4 on April 28, 2013, 10:21 GMT

    I think Pakistan team need batting traning camp rather than bowling camp, Pakistan batsmen batting technic is worse they can survive in only 20:20 format They dont know how to play in test and ODI matches , when critical time comes Many times these batsmen disappointment Fans , Please do not select shahid afridi in ODI now his bowling and fielding is also become worse

  • zaf on April 27, 2013, 21:20 GMT

    Kingsland Selection Board announced PAK team for UK tour: 1) AFRIDI(CAPT) 2)Abdul Razzak(vice-CAPT) 3)Nasir Jamshed 4)Hafeez 5)Ahmed Shahzad 6)Haris Sohail 7)Sohaib Malik 8)Imran Nazir 9)U. Akmal(WKT) 10)Irfan 11)Junaid 12)Asad Ali/Ajmal

    Spin:Hafeez, Sohaib, AFRIDI Fast: Junaid, Irfan, Razzak

    Sorry no place for Misbah, Sohail Tanvir, Yasir Arfat, Younis Khan, Asad Safiq, U. Amin etc.

  • Dummy4 on April 27, 2013, 11:39 GMT

    it will be good mixer of new bowlers i am looking forward for new find who bowled around 157kms in the talent hunt.

  • Imran on April 27, 2013, 6:20 GMT

    Junaid khan, Irfan, Asad Ali, Ehsan Adil and Anwar ali should be selected for pace attack.. in batting they have nasir jamshed, hafeez, haris sohail, umar akmal, misbah, Mohammad rizwan and ahmad shahzad. Ajmal and hafeez are enough for spin bowling. please don't select shoiab malik ,afridi, sohail tanvir, umar ameen and yasir arfat kind of guys.. they are tried and tested and failed so many times.

  • A on April 26, 2013, 18:13 GMT

    @reason-galore on (April 25, 2013, 21:24 GMT) ""what happened to our fast bowling?? this new guy will be the spearhead now??"" Sorry just for your information apart from Akhtar PAK never had a bowler who use to bowl regularly at nearly 150. Even Waqar and especially Wasim rarely use to bowl over 140kph. Their weapons were control and swing. PAK do have fast bowlers who can bowl over 140 like Sami and Wahab but they have no control. Bowlers like Philander, Asif , Wasim, Pollock are not all about speed. Any bowler who can bowl in 130's with ability to swing and control will always be successful. Junaid (played county cricket at 21 on recommendation of legend Wasim Akram!!!)and Irfan(bowls around 140!!) are good bowlers who need time to develop and in two years time Amir will be back as well. So I seem to think bowling future is good. Why not start to think about cricket in broader term and not only based on speed and "boom boom" style cricket???

  • Dummy4 on April 26, 2013, 18:02 GMT

    stints in english county always benfit our bowlers. hope we do well. the matches against ireland and scotland will be good for getting to know the conditions

  • Muhammad on April 26, 2013, 12:37 GMT

    Junaid khan is one of the best swing bowler. He would be a big threat to the batsmen in the champions trophy. Good luck to him from saudi arabia

  • muhammad on April 26, 2013, 10:06 GMT

    I think bowling is not a big issue for Pakistan but the batting and fielding are our weakest points. It is the time to include young talent like Hammad azam as a batting allrounder, Asad shafiq instead of Younis khan and also batsman like Haris sohail. These young batsmen could not be given chance directly in the champion trophy, so before that give them a chance in the series against Ireland and Scotland and then include those who shows a character there. Moreover, I suggested that Wasim akram shuould be the bowling coach of Pakistan as he can only bring talents like himself, Waqar Younis and Shoaib akhtar.