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Junaid ready for 'world-class' South Africa


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junaid khan, graeme smith, pakistan south africa test series, pakistan south africa series, pakistan's tour of south africa, virat kohli, misbah-ul-haq, misbah, pakistan south africa updates, pakistan south africa coverage
“I have worked hard at the training camp, and with the help of the video analyst, keenly observed the strengths and weaknesses of the South Africans.” -Photo by AP

KARACHI: In his brief career, Pakistan’s newest pace sensation, Junaid Khan, has already made a big impact on teammates, opponents and experts a like, his stunning performances in India still fresh in the minds of Pakistan supporters.

But the promising youngster knows a bigger challenge waits in South Africa and is now solely focused on Graeme Smith’s men.

“Their top five batsmen are world-class and I am not targeting anyone specific. I keep things simple and give my 100 per cent every time I get a chance to bowl.” Junaid said while talking to a private TV channel.

“I have worked hard at the training camp, and with the help of the video analyst, keenly observed the strengths and weaknesses of the South Africans.”

Pakistan will play three Test matches followed by two T20Is and five ODIs against the host team on the five-week long tour to South Africa. The tour will commence with the first Test match in Johannesburg from February 1st.

The 23-year-old, who hails from Swabi, also recalled his outright triumph against the prolific Indian batsman Virat Kohli on the recent India tour, describing it as a joint effort with his team analyst.

“Team analyst, Usman Hashmi, helped me a great deal in finding out the weaknesses of Kohli and others, I am glad the plan worked by the grace of God,” Junaid, who rolled over Kohli thrice in as many ODIs in India, said.

Junaid has claimed 27 wickets in eight Test matches for Pakistan since his debut in 2011. In 16 ODIs and three T20I he has 25 and two wickets respectively.

Meanwhile, Pakistan captain Misbah-ul-Haq termed the upcoming tour the toughest of his tenure and asked his pace bowlers to step up their game even further.

“The coming series is very important for Pakistan cricket because we have mostly played our cricket in South Asia or the UAE since 2010,” Misbah said.

“The last few years have been a big challenge for Pakistan cricket and the players have come through well most of the time. But this is a tour where we have to play our best cricket.”

Misbah said he was confident about the series because Pakistan, like South Africa, had a strong bowling attack.

“Until now our spinners have come through for us, now it is the turn of the pace bowlers to deliver. I am confident that players like Umar Gul and Junaid Khan will be our strike bowlers and we have a good spin backup in Saeed Ajmal,” he said.

Comments (8) Closed

shaheer Jan 20, 2013 02:19am
Good luck guys, as this tour no doubt will challenge our batsman the most. Bowlers will deliver for sure but it is going to depend on our batsman. Good luck Team Pakistan!
tajamal hassan Jan 19, 2013 11:01pm
II think M,Irfan will be very handy in South Africa the variable bounce will be to his advantage,we saw how he troubled the Indian batsmen on dead pitches in India,he can play havoic on the fast and bouncy wickets if he stays fit and and used properly,and the the fielders hold their catches.
theIndain Jan 19, 2013 08:14pm
Good luck team Pakistan it will not be easy to win from world class team like South Africa but it is not impossible either good luck again .
Dilawer Jan 19, 2013 06:13pm
and that is a lot of work expected from lazy coaches. This is nothing new and this is how it should have been done all along
Dilawer Jan 19, 2013 03:15pm
Juanid, if you sleep on time and focus on your diet and exercise then you will be successful. Pace your-self when it come to party and pleasure. This is the trick and stick to it.
AKB Jan 19, 2013 05:38pm
Pakistan will find it very very tough to do well in South Africa who are on a high at the moment and quite simply the best team in the world, They have the finest batting line up in the world, world class set of bowlers who are the finest in the world and a fielding unit that is pure world class. Pakistan though has quite a decent bowling attack lacks the batting unit to take on the Proteas quickies on fast bouncy wickets which are similar to those in Australia where Pakistan played and lost badly in all three tests. Only two experienced batsmen in Misbah and Younis Khan, rest are just average and found wanting on fast bouncy wickets. Anyway, good luck and hope for a good series
Mohammad Merchant Jan 19, 2013 05:29pm
I am very much happy to read this statement from Junaid Khan.This is the right approach to prepare for any foriegn tour.Our bowling coach should also sit down with the team analyst and prepare plan on bowlers for opposing batsmen strength and weakness and impliment on field practice. similarly batting coach should work with our batsmen how to handle the rising deliveries,yorker and both swing on field.Coaches should watch the videos of their star batsmen like,Hashim amla,smith,Kallies and A.B.Develliar and try to find out their weakness and pass on to our bowlers.
Thabo Makeleni Jan 20, 2013 07:43am
This type of talk might just back-fire against him. He should in fact let his "bowling" do the talking once he is in South Africa asthey will also have done their "video-analysis of the Pakistani batsmen.The facilities in South Africa is world-class, including road infrastructure, hotels, pitches and most important ... there are no security threats. The Pakistani team can expect full support from the many muslims living in South africa - many of them are descendants of the sub-continent, like Hasim Amla's family. So, the conditions exist for a riveting test series providing the Pakistani batsmen can up their game - for the South African bowling attack is very potent, not to mention the batting of the South Africans.