Pakistan seamer Junaid Khan has had his travails in his brief yet reasonably successful career. The left-arm seam bowler was a regular fixture in the national set-up till June 2015 until a series of injuries and some debatable selections underlined his struggle to make a comeback. Meanwhile, Junaid Khan engaged in an interview with PakPassion.net and spoke on wide-ranging issues concerning Pakistan cricket.
Having made his debut in 2011, Junaid Khan has featured for Pakistan in all three formats of the game. The 30-year old has represented Pakistan in 22 Tests, 76 ODIs, and nine T20Is. He was part of Pakistan’s victorious 2017 Champions Trophy campaign, finishing with figures of 6-1-20-1 in the final against India. Junaid last played for the men in green in May 2019 before the 50-over World Cup, for which he was not chosen.
Meanwhile, Junaid Khan was asked to explain the reason behind the rapid decline of pacers in the country in recent times. The 30-year old opined that the selectors FastTrack any fast bowler to international cricket when they start showing little promise in the domestic circuit.
Due to this step, the youngsters feel overconfident and stop learning, which is the start of their downfall. The left-arm seamer believes that adequate first-class experience is a must before playing international cricket to have some knowledge of lifting themselves through struggled phases.
“There are a few reasons for the issues we have with the newer bowlers and foremost is their lack of experience to help them get through the initial phases of their career. This happens because the moment a youngster shows any promise, the selectors push away experienced bowlers in the false hope that they have found new stars,” Junaid said.
“Understandably, youngsters become overconfident and start believing that they know whatever is needed to succeed and stop learning which is the beginning of the end for them. The other issue with the promotion of youngsters to the national side too quickly is that they seem to be fine when they are performing well and taking wickets, but the problems come when they are out of form,” he added.
Without the experience of First-class cricket to bank upon which they could have drawn upon to lift themselves in tough times, they feel lost and that leads to their demise. We have youngsters in the Pakistan side who haven’t even played 50 First-class games and it’s understandable that such players fall by the wayside when confronted with a loss of form.”
I’m training harder than ever, to keep myself in contention and fit: Junaid Khan
Despite being out of contention at present, Junaid Khan is hopeful of getting a recall from the Pakistan selectors. The 30-year-old Junaid is still putting in the hard work to remain in the scheme of things and competing with the newbies for a spot in any format.
“I would hope that is the case. I may have been disheartened by the current situation but not to the extent that I have stopped putting in the hard yards. In fact, I’m training harder than ever, to keep myself in contention and fit, so that I can compete with younger players for any spot in the national side, in any format,” Junaid concluded.