Amir’s return means competition for place in pace attack: Junaid

Published January 19, 2016
The 26-year-old has already bagged 71 Test wickets and 78 ODI wickets for his country since he made his international debut in April 2011. — AP/File
The 26-year-old has already bagged 71 Test wickets and 78 ODI wickets for his country since he made his international debut in April 2011. — AP/File

Pakistan left arm pacer Junaid Khan has attributed Mohammad Amir’s return as a challenge for him to work harder to gain his place back in the national side.

Junaid, who had a decent start to his international career, was hit by injuries which forced him out of the Pakistan team depriving him of a regular run in the side.

“Amir’s return means competition for places is even tougher which is good news for Pakistan cricket,” said Junaid in an interview to Pakpassion.net.

“Nobody can take his place for granted if the bench-strength is good, as the players who are playing know they have to perform,” he added.

Amir returned to the Pakistan side after a five-year absence and is an addition to the Pakistan roster which contains the likes of Mohammad Irfan, Wahab Riaz and Umar Gul who all are contenders to become the national side’s pace spearhead.

With these names, the Pakistan side seems to have enough quantity, as well as quality needed for a good pace attack, making it difficult for Junaid to regain his spot.

But the Swabi born pacer views it as a normal situation.

“I think there always has been competition in the Pakistan fast bowling department and there always will be,” he said.

Junaid said that only hard work and consistent performances in the domestic circuit as well as the ‘A’ team competitions will make his case stronger.

“Whether it be domestic cricket or international cricket, to succeed you have to be prepared to beat the competition and stay ahead of it,” he said.

Charged with positivity, Junaid mentioned examples from history which inspire him to keep working.

“Even Wasim Akram and Waqar Younis had to make comebacks for one reason or another,” he said.

“I’m not disheartened or feeling down, I just need to get out there and perform in domestic cricket, for Pakistan ‘A’ and for any other team I represent,” added the left-armer.

Junaid believes he is ready to make a Pakistan return and has re-equipped himself with the most lethal weapons a fast bowler should carry.

“I think I am bowling as quick as I ever have,” he said.

“I’m bowling at about 140kph and sometimes more, the reverse-swing is there, as are the yorkers so I’m happy with my form,” added the pacer.

The 26-year-old has already bagged 71 Test wickets and 78 ODI wickets for his country since he made his international debut in April 2011.

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