Sohail and Cheema determined to succeed
Sohail Khan, the seamer who has been included in the Pakistan side for Zimbabwe in the absence of some senior fast bowlers, is confident of using the opportunity to cement a regular place. Sohail, who was discarded in early 2009 after a solitary Test and four ODIs, believes he is better prepared to shine at the highest level in his second coming.
"I think my debut came a little early and I failed to impress on the chances that I got," Sohail told the Express Tribune. "It was a good lesson for me though and I learnt a lot about the game, my fitness, my ability as a fast-bowler and helped me gain overall control of my bowling.
"No one likes to be dropped from the side and there are only two outcomes: you either succumb to the degradation or vow to improve and make a comeback. In the last two years, I've learnt how to build myself. I used to train more than required and that affected my fitness levels. And for that, I have high regard for Aaqib Javed who helped me attain that. Making a comeback is always a challenge and I did everything required to make it happen."
Sohail's inclusion comes on the back of impressive results in the recent Super Eight Twenty20 competition. Aizaz Cheema, the 31-year-old seamer, also benefitted from solid domestic performances, after missing out on the tour of West Indies on fitness grounds.
"This is a valued opportunity for me," Cheema said. "I'm desperate to perform given that I have ample domestic-level experience and enjoying optimum fitness. My aim is maintaining accuracy while bowling fast. I'm 31 and mature enough to understand the responsibility that comes with representing Pakistan. The opportunity to play for the country is something which does not come easy and I know how much hard work is required to get to that point."
Sohail Tanvir and Junaid Khan are the other fast bowlers in the squad as the Pakistan selectors chose to rest more established names like Umar Gul and Wahab Riaz. The tour will comprise a warm-up game, a solitary Test starting September 1, a three-match ODI series and two Twenty20s.