DateLine: 17th March 2011
This time last year, Pakistan fans were singing the praises of a young left-arm fast bowler who showed great promise. That bowler then went on to take 46 international wickets at an average of 19.84 runs per wicket. A star was born, the future of Pakistani fast bowling was secure.
Well that was before it all came crashing down around our ears.
One year on and Pakistan fans are once again singing the praises of a young left-arm fast bowler who is tipped as being a bit special. This time his name is Junaid Khan and he has taken 169 wkts in just 36 first class games at an average of 21.40. That's 4.7 wickets per game.
His name is Junaid Khan and he hails from khyber Pakhtunkhwa (formally knows as NWFP). Junaid has been a regular fixture in Pakistan's domestic circuit for the last 4 years and was over the moon when he heard that he'd been picked to replace Sohail Tanvir in Pakistan's World Cup squad.
Junaid still hasn't got a game but during one of the warm-up matches he took 3 wickets for 44 runs against England. Cricistan.com caught up with Junaid Khan before he left for the World Cup.
When we asked Junaid where he was when he heard about the call-up he said that he was at the stadium.
"I was at the stadium and my mobile phone wasn't with me, the PCB had been calling me to inform me of my call-up but I missed their calls. Because of that I learnt of the call-up via the news, I couldn't believe it at first. In fact I'm not sure it's sunk in yet. It was only after I collected my phone on the way home that I saw the missed calls from the PCB, that's when it began to feel real." Junaid told Cricistan.com
We asked Junaid to describe his bowling style to us and he said "I'm a line and length bowler, I believe that if you try to be accurate and you bowl a tight line the wickets will follow."
When I asked if that meant he was a Mohammad Asif type bowler he was quick to correct me and replied "No, not like Asif. I would say I'm more like Umar Gul. When you see me bowl you will see what I mean."
I wanted to know about his pace but it seems that I was more interested in this aspect of his bowling than Junaid himself was.
"I don't know exactly what my pace is but I've been clocked in the 140 to 142 kph range so I'd say that's the sort of speeds I will hit." Junaid confirmed to Cricistan.com
Finally I wanted to know how a young player like him would cope walking out to a stadium crammed with tens of thousands of hostile fans.
"Although this will be the first time that I'm playing for Pakistan. I have previously played for Pakistan A and Pakistan u19. It may not be the same thing but it's still representing your country and I'm confident that nerves wont play any part in my debut" Junaid told Cricistan.com
I'd like to thank Junaid for his time and hopefully it's not too long before we see him in action.
(Article: The opinions expressed in this article are those of the author only.
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