Pakistan right-arm fast bowler Sohail Khan has set his sights on making the team for the tour of Australia next month, having got back to full fitness and impressing with Sui Southern Gas Corporation (SSGC) in the Quaid-e-Azam Trophy.
"I've had some calf problems in recent times but I now feel 100% fit" Sohail told Pakpassion.net. "It was one of those irritating injuries that kept on recurring and just when I thought I had overcome the injury it would come back, which was quite frustrating. In fact I played some cricket when the calf was not totally right.
"My aim is to take lots of wickets and bowl consistently well for SSGC and hopefully my performances will catch the eye of the selectors in time for the announcement of the squad for Australia. It would be great to be back playing for Pakistan, and to make that comeback in Australia is something that I'm really hoping for".
Sohail, 25, has been in fine form this season, picking up 14 wickets 18.85, including a season's best so far of 6 for 34 against Pakistan Customs. He said he was looking forward to bowling against Habib Bank Limited in the Group A encounter starting on Monday.
"We've come across some pretty flat tracks so far this season, so it will be good to hopefully bowl in seamer-friendly conditions in Rawalpindi. I remember the last time I played against Habib Bank, I took six wickets in the only innings that I bowled in. Let's hope I can do that again".
He made his Test debut in 2009, during the high-scoring draw against Sri Lanka in Karachi. He returned figures of 0 for 131 and 0 for 33 and has not been considered since. He has also managed five wickets in the four ODIs at 32.60. But under the guidance of former players and a correction in his run-up, he hopes to grab his chance and tour Australia.
"Before the domestic season started, I worked with Aaqib Javed and Wasim Akram on my runup, which was identified as an area that I needed to improve upon," Sohail said. "When we analysed my run-up, we all felt that it needed more momentum. I wasn't sprinting during my run-up and now I have altered that, I'm running in a lot quicker. I feel really comfortable with the change and I feel it has improved my bowling".
Sohail, who recently represented Pakistan in the Hong Kong Cricket Sixes tournament, said he was perplexed by the format. "Its strange cricket and for a fast bowler it can be quite frustrating because you bowl a good delivery and it goes for a four or a top-edged six. It was good experience though and I just tried to concentrate on bowling yorkers".