KARACHI: Pakistan’s seasoned pacer Umar Gul, who returned to the national fold after a long lay-off due to a recurring knee injury, is confident of making a strong comeback and cannot wait to take on New Zealand in the limited over series.
The 30-year-old fast-bowler has been included in both the T20I and ODI squads in order to give him some invaluable match practice ahead of the upcoming 2015 World Cup.
Gul’s last outing for Pakistan was in the World Twenty20 against the West Indies in April, while his last ODI appearance came in the Asia Cup against Sri Lanka back in March.
Despite being plagued by injuries in the past few months, Gul has kept in shape and his hard work has paid off as he has earned himself a recall into the national side on the basis of his performances in the domestic circuit.
“I feel physically fitter now and don’t have any concerns regarding my knee because I was able to bowl for long spells in domestic cricket,” Gul told The Express Tribune before he departed for the UAE. “If you aren’t fit then you can’t play five or six first-class matches. Playing again in competitive matches has boosted my moral and helped me realise that I can bowl long spells once again.”
Gul, who represented HBL in the Quaid-e-Azam Trophy, took 28 wickets in five matches but could not complete the sixth match due to the national call-up and is now keen on finding his rhythm before the World Cup. “My focus is to find my rhythm back in international cricket because it’s different from domestic cricket,” said Gul. “Everyone needs sometime before feeling at ease in international cricket after an injury. I’ll try to adjust quickly because we’ve got the 2015 World Cup coming up in February so I want to be at my peak before then and win matches for Pakistan.”
The fast-bowler also said that he has not changed his action but a slight change has developed naturally during the landing due to the long injury layoff.
Pakistan’s T20 captain Shahid Afridi is already in the UAE for the last few days, along with Umar Akmal, to film for a commercial, while the rest of the squad left on Monday.
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