I mostly bowled on flat Asian pitches, people still criticise me: Junaid Khan

I mostly bowled on flat Asian pitches, people still criticise me: Junaid Khan

After his international debut in 2011 across all formats, Khan hasn't been able to cement his spot in the national team.

Junaid Khan
Junaid Khan. (Photo Source: ISHARA S. KODIKARA/AFP/Getty Images)

Junaid Khan, the Pakistan fast bowler, has rued that he hasn’t gotten enough chances to don the national colours in the last five years or so. He last played for the Men in Green back in May 2019 in a bilateral series against England at the Trent Bridge in Nottingham. The left-arm speedster didn’t play the World Cup either after being dropped from the provisional squad.

He also expressed displeasure over the fact that he has had to face a lot of criticism, despite getting most chances of bowling on flat tracks. In 22 Tests, Khan notched 71 wickets and hasn’t played in the format since June 2015.

I had one of the lowest strike-rates and averages: Junaid Khan

“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,” Khan told to Pak Passion.

“Of the recent pace-bowlers to represent Pakistan excluding Mohammad Abbas, I had one of the lowest strike-rates and averages as well,” Khan stated.

Khan said that despite performing to expectations, he has had to warm the benches. “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 against Bangladesh.

“Or how I was just given two matches on the 2017 West Indies tour, or why they just gave me 3 matches to play in the Champions Trophy 2017, though I got a 5fer in a side game. I hardly got chances after 2015/16 when I used to be a regular member of the side,” Junaid added.

In 76 ODIs and nine T20Is, the North West Frontier Province-born has 110 and eight wickets respectively. He also boasts of five five-wicket hauls and as many four-fers in international cricket.

Junaid’s last competitive game was in the 2020 Pakistan Super League (PSL) where he represented the Shan Masood-led Multan Sultans. There he played two games, picking as many wickets. Prior to that, Khan was a part of the Rangpur Rangers in the 2020 Bangabandhu Bangladesh Premier League.