Pakistan seamer Junaid Khan was a regular member of the national set-up till June 2015 in all three formats of the game, but then a series of injuries and some debatable selections made him struggle to make a comeback to the national squad.
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, the 30-year old has represented Pakistan in 22 Tests, 76 ODIs, and nine T20Is. He was also part of Pakistan’s historic 2017 Champions Trophy triumph against India.
Junaid last played for Pakistan in May 2019 while he hasn’t played Test cricket since June 2015 after featuring in 22 Tests and scalped 71 wickets with the national selectors constantly overlooking him.
He was disappointed that other players have been given preference over him despite having good “experience and performances” while slamming his critics, saying they don’t have right to criticize him, suggesting them to look at his recent performances, as he has “one of the lowest strike-rates and averages” among all the Pakistan fast bowlers.
Junaid told PakPassion, “I have played 22 Test matches and 18 of those were in Asia mostly on very flat pitches in Sri Lanka, UAE, and Bangladesh, taking five wickets in an innings five times, yet people still criticize me. Of the recent pace bowlers to represent Pakistan excluding Mohammad Abbas, I had one of the lowest strike-rates and averages as well.”
The seamer further explained, “On top of that, people tell me that I haven’t done so well past 2015 but then why not look at the fact that I played one game in the Asia Cup and picked four wickets in it against Bangladesh. Or how I was just given two matches on the 2017 tour of the West Indies, or why they just gave me three matches to play in the Champions Trophy 2017 even though I got a five-for in a side game. So, I hardly got any matches after 2015/16 when I used to be a regular member of the side, and obviously it was tough to put in good performances without consistent chances.”
He signed off by saying, “This isn’t just about me, it’s a wider problem. If you give a bowler enough chances and he is not able to perform then he will be the first one to admit failure. But if you give sporadic chances to a bowler, one match here or one match there, then he forgets his basics and gets desperate for wickets and loses his rhythm and consistency in the process.”
(With PakPassion Inputs)