Talha, Sohail upbeat over future

Fast-bowling pair eyes return after being overlooked for two years.

Umar Farooq July 14, 2011


Fast-bowling prospects Mohammad Talha and Sohail Khan believe they have improved significantly since they stepped onto the international fold in 2009. The promising pair, who made their debut on batting-friendly pitches, failed to justify their potential and were subsequently overlooked.

While Talha featured in one Test, taking a solitary wicket for 88 runs, Khan has played four One-Day Internationals (ODI), one Test and has also made a Twenty20 appearance.

Unfortunately for Talha, the only match he played was abandoned due to a gun attack on the Sri Lankan team bus in Lahore in March 2009.

But the 22-year-old claims to have improved and said the ongoing Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) Fast Track Coaching Programme can help him return to the national side.

“The camp is helping me a lot,” Talha told The Express Tribune. “Camps like this should take place more often, to give bowlers a fair opportunity to rectify their mistakes and enhance their ability.

“Sarfaraz Nawaz [former Pakistan bowler] has given us various tips which will help us improve. I can safely say that I have improved a lot,” he added. “I hope to be considered for the national side when I sign off from the camp, as I want an opportunity to prove myself.”

Fitness concerns

Meanwhile, the 27-year-old Khan has deemed himself the “master of the new ball” and claims that the camp has enhanced his strength and fitness.

“We are working on various aspects to improve our bowling,” said Khan, who attributed his poor debut and short stint in the national side to fitness concerns.

“Many players have faced similar situations in the past, but the coaches at the camp are helping me get fully fit through various useful methods. I am now 100 per cent fit to play international cricket.”

‘Change in rules will not affect me’

Talking about the new rules being introduced by the International Cricket Council, Khan explained that bowling with a new ball was not a big problem for him.

“I have been bowling a lot faster with a new ball. In fact, I have always preferred to use a new ball, as reverse swing has never been one of my priorities.

“I urge the coaches to extend my stay for the second phase of the camp so I may also work on my fielding, which is another important aspect of the game,” added Khan, who has taken five ODI wickets.

Published in The Express Tribune, July 15th, 2011.


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