PSL 2019

Pakistan bowlers will struggle in England: Junaid Khan

Left-arm pacer Junaid Khan believes Pakistan pacers will have a tough time in England following International Cricket Council (ICC)’s decision to ban the usage of saliva to shine cricket balls.

The world governing body of cricket has “temporarily” banned the fast-bowlers from applying saliva to shine the ball, which help them generate greater swing in the air. The ban will be implemented from the forthcoming three-match Test series between England and West Indies in the United Kingdom.

While speaking to Cricket Pakistan in an exclusive interview, Junaid said that all fast-bowlers will generally take a hit from the ban but it will affect the Pakistani bowlers more, as they rely on reverse swing with the old [used] ball to take wickets.

“Both sides will have difficulty if there is no reverse swing on offer due to the saliva ban. However, our bowlers are likely to struggle more. Anderson bowls well with the new ball and his reverse swing is not that good. Similarly, Broad and Archer’s reverse swing is not as effective as our bowlers,” said Junaid.

“Even though Abbas bowls at 125 KPH, he has done well with reverse swing in Asia. Shaheen’s reverse swing may not be as good as Abbas, but it is still alright. The four Test matches that Naseem has played, he has taken most wickets with reverse swing. Our pacers, particularly the likes of Shaheen, Naseem and Musa will have a difficult time as they do not have the experience of playing in England and are not used to the conditions there,” he added.

The 30-year-old is disappointed to miss out on the opportunity to represent Pakistan in the aforementioned series despite having considerable experience in England.

“I was disappointed when my name wasn’t in the 29-member squad announced for England tour. I am more experienced than the bowlers selected for the tour and want to play Test cricket,” he said. “Apart from Abbas, no other bowler in the current Test squad has a better bowling strike rate or average than me. I have played County cricket for six years, have toured England with the Under-19 team and my performances in Champions Trophy were also outstanding. As far as Twenty20 cricket is concerned, I have the most wickets as an overseas bowler for Lancashire after [James] Faulkner.”

Junaid also rued the lack of consistent chances and support he got from the Pakistan team management as compared to his fellow left-arm pacer, Mohammad Amir.

“I am not jealous of Amir. It is his luck that he got support from the team management despite not performing in 14 or 15 ODIs. Whereas I did not have the same luck, as I was dropped after not performing in only two games,” he said.

Junaid made his international debut in all three formats in 2011. The left-arm pacer has represented Pakistan in 22 Test matches, 76 One-day Internationals (ODIs) and nine Twenty20 Internationals (T20Is).

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