Salahuddin eager to impress on Test debut for Pakistan

Middle-order batsman will replace injured Babar Azam in the final eleven

Salahuddin eager to impress on Test debut for Pakistan PHOTO: Getty

Young middle-order batsman Usman Salahuddin is excited ahead of his debut in Test cricket, which will start with a five-day contest against England beginning from Friday in Leeds.

The 27-year-old, who has been consistently performing in the domestic circuit for the past couple of years, is keen to impress on his first appearance in the longest format of the game.

“Like every cricketer, I’m very excited about my Test debut and want to do well,” said Salahuddin while talking to the media in Leeds on Thursday. “It was my dream to represent Pakistan in Test cricket.”

Salahuddin will be replacing Babar Azam, who was ruled out following a forearm injury, pointed out that the past experience of playing in England will be vital.

“I played the premier league in Newcastle and Midlands and also had a good outing in the practice match against Leicestershire, which is why the experience of playing in England will come in handy,” he said. “Legends like Inzamamul Haq and Mohammad Yousuf are the players I look towards for inspiration while in the current team, Babar Azam and Asad Shafiq are my favorite players. Internationally, I closely watch Joe Root and Virat Kohli because they are both middle-order batsman like me.”

Salahuddin, who has played 99 first-class matches and has scored 6,329 runs at an average of 46.53 with 20 centuries and 34 half-centuries, further revealed that he will stick to his natural game against The Three Lions.

“I would like to stick to my natural game and play according to the requirements of the game,” he said. “I want to play for Pakistan as long as possible and replicate the performance of Inzamam and Younis Khan. My target is not just to play a single Test and then relax. I know it is crucial to avoid playing the drive loosely against this quality England bowling attack and wait for the bad ball to capitalise.”