Junaid Khan might have been laid low by injuries but his resolve and determination still flies high as he remains optimistic about an impressive return to the playing-eleven, learning the art of swing as he recovers from a knee injury.
The left-arm fast bowler missed the Asia Cup after suffering a fracture, an injury that followed his abdominal injury during the series against Sri Lanka in the UAE last year.
The 22-year old made a reasonable start to international cricket as Pakistan recovered from the loss of Mohammad Amir and Mohammad Asif but although his tally of 13 Test wickets from five matches and 12 One-Day International scalps from 11 matches do not speak highly of his talent, several former cricketers rate him as a future prospect.
‘A temporary setback’
Although, the fast-bowler was badly hit by the recent injury, he remains optimistic about his future in international cricket.
“Missing out on events such as the Asia Cup did hurt a lot,” Junaid told The Express Tribune. “But I am not disappointed because I believe it’s a temporary setback. Great bowlers like Wasim Akram and Waqar Younis went through similar phases during their careers but they managed to become legends of the game. I always take inspiration from them because I want to be like them one day.”
Learning command on swing deliveries
As he recovers from the injury, Junaid is utilising the time-off to sharpen his expertise with the ball.
“A player doesn’t have control on setbacks like injuries and I have faith that such blows are always good in some way or the other. While I’m out of competitive cricket, I’m working on improving my skills as a bowler, especially the swinging deliveries.
“I’m working on new deliveries to improve as a bowler — one is a deceiving swing delivery and the other is a reverse-swing delivery. I’m giving these two a lot of time these days.”
Recovering well from injury
Despite the optimism, Junaid said he was yet to get permission to bowl with full rhythm.
“I am recovering well and I’ve started light training including physical exercises. I have a doctor’s appointment early next week where I will get to know about the current situation but right now, I have been advised against bowling with full pace.”
Junaid was hopeful of regaining full momentum and returning to full fitness before Pakistan’s tour to Sri Lanka later this summer.
Published in The Express Tribune, March 31st, 2012.