Former Pakistan Test greats were delighted with the performance of youngsters in the first of the three-match One-Day International (ODI) series against India that saw the tourists winning the match by six wickets.
Left-arm pacer Junaid Khan – who ripped through India’s strong upper batting order with a four-wicket haul – and century-maker Nasir Jamshed were the chief recipients of the cricket legends’ commendation.
“It was Junaid who designed the win,” said former captain Javed Miandad while congratulating the team for the impressive victory. “His strikes at regular intervals sealed the game in Pakistan’s favour. Considering the fact that India are a strong batting side, it was a good achievement.
“Nasir was equally impressive. He carried his innings till the end and finished the game which is a very good sign.
“Younus Khan should also be credited for his defiant show under pressure. Both the batsmen played according to the situation and continued rotating strikes.”
Junaid reminds of young Amir: Akram
Wasim Akram, another former captain, was impressed with Junaid’s seaming deliveries that stunned the India batting line-up.
“The track was difficult for batsmen in the beginning,” said Akram. “But it wasn’t easy to bowl on either; it was far from convenient to pitch deliveries on the right line and length.
“However, Junaid managed turn the match in the team’s favour early on. It’s beyond me why this youngster is not getting chances regularly as he has the potential to improve further. He reminds me of young [Mohammad] Amir with his performance.”
Meanwhile, former Pakistan wicket-keeper Rashid Latif said it was a huge achievement for a team composed mainly of young players to beat an experienced side on their home ground.
“It’s a tough task to play India in India,” said Latif. “There is a lot of pressure on all the players but the way our team fought was commendable.”
Kohli doubtful for second ODI
Meanwhile, India batsman Virat Kohli is doubtful for the second ODI against Pakistan on Thursday following a foot injury in the opening match, according to Times of India.
Kohli sustained the injury when his backfoot slipped in a delivery stride during the 41st over of Pakistan’s innings and had to leave the field without finishing the over.
A Board of Cricket Control for India (BCCI) official said that his condition would be monitored and a decision on his availability for the next match will be taken over the next couple of days.
“Junaid’s strikes at regular intervals sealed the game in Pakistan’s favour. Considering the fact that India are a strong batting side, it was a good achievement.”
“The track was difficult for batsmen in the beginning. But it wasn’t easy to bowl on either; it was far from convenient to pitch deliveries on the right line and length.”
Published in The Express Tribune, January 1st, 2013.