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I mostly played on flat pitches: Junaid Khan hits back at critics

Pakistan pacer has remained, largely, on the sidelines over the past couple of years

PHOTO: AFP

Pakistan pacer Junaid Khan believes that he has been unfairly criticised over the course of his international career, so far.

While speaking in an interview with PakPassion, Khan said that he mostly played on flat pitches but was still effective despite little or no assistance from the tracks.

“I have played 22 Test matches and 18 of those were in Asia mostly on very flat pitches in Sri Lanka, UAE and Bangladesh, taking 5 wickets in an innings five times, yet people still criticise me,” said Khan. “Of the recent pace-bowlers to represent Pakistan excluding Mohammad Abbas, I had one of the lowest strike-rates and averages as well.”

He also rued lack of consistent chances despite being a regular member of the Pakistan side.

“On top of that, people tell me that I haven’t done so well past 2015 but then why not look at the fact that I played one game in the Asia Cup and picked 4 wickets in it against Bangladesh. Or how I was just given two matches on the 2017 tour of the West Indies, or why they just gave me 3 matches to play in the Champions Trophy 2017 even though I got a 5fer in a side game. So, I hardly got any matches after 2015/16 when I used to be a regular member of the side,” he said.

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The left-armer added that lack of regular opportunities hampers a bowler’s rhythm and ability to pick up wickets.

“Obviously it was tough to put in good performances without consistent chances. This isn’t just about me, it's a wider problem. If you give a bowler enough chances and he is not able to perform then he will be the first one to admit failure. But if you give sporadic chances to a bowler, one match here or one match there, then he forgets his basics and gets desperate for wickets and loses his rhythm and consistency in the process,” he said.

After making his debut in all three formats in 2011, Khan has played 22 Test matches, 76 One-day Internationals (ODIs) and nine Twenty20 Internationals (T20Is).