Stories about Junaid Khan

Pakistan is not even prepared for New Zealand, let alone the World Cup

Openers getting out early, slow run rate, batsmen getting starts but not converting them into something substantial, a false ray of hope in between – pretty much run-of-the-mill stuff for Pakistan’s batting in ODI cricket. However, the more worrying factor is Pakistan’s fragile bowling attack at the moment. For years Pakistan’s batting has been spared its blushes by the bowling department, but, heading into the World Cup and the second ODI versus New Zealand, the bowling side looks as feeble as the batting one. With Saeed Ajmal banned, Muhammad Hafeez unable to ball, Junaid Khan injured and Yasir Shah as an unused weapon so far, Pakistan’s bowling side looks as flimsy as ...

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The ‘chosen ones’ for the 2015 World Cup

Cricket is not just a game in Pakistan; it is the blood of this nation. Thus, it is only natural that the hopes and dreams of 180 million people are placed on the shoulders of 11 men in green. Every cricket enthusiast in Pakistan was busy guessing who the ‘chosen ones’ for the squad were going to be before the names were finally unveiled by the National Selection Committee. Senior players like Kamran Akmal, Shoaib Malik and Umar Gul were dropped while pace bowlers like Sohail Khan, who last played international cricket in 2011, made a comeback. What came as a surprise to everyone, ...

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Younus Khan runs riot!

Younus Khan silenced all conjectures. The doubters have been taught the consequences of tickling Mardan’s sleeping dragon. He probably broke the record for breaking records in this two-match series. Stats have brought him head to head with some of the galactic greats of the game but the hero chooses to remain in the shadows of conflicting egos, serving our cause with what little is left in him. Younus is indeed an odd hero. For a fan base that dwells on little moments of glory, the progress of his tons and Pakistan turning tables has been soporific to many. The exploits ...

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Defeating our demons

On January 6, 2010, I sat with my head in my hands as I tried to make sense of what had just happened. Some brilliant (read: not) captaincy and some strange fielding – attributed largely to Mazher Majeed’s influence on the team – meant that Pakistan squandered a 206-run lead and, with it, the chance to beat Australia on home-ground. For Pakistani fans, this was a hard pill to digest and that can largely be put down to Australia’s complete dominance of Pakistan over a number of years – basically our entire cricket-following age. At Hobart in 1999, Australia chased down 369 against a ...

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Ban the bowlers, ban them all!

After depriving the world of the most glorious sight in international cricket – Saeed Ajmal in all his grace, splendour and beauty giving an interview to Nasser Hussain after a match – the ICC plans to throw the book at bowlers. I welcome this hard-line decision taken by the International Cricket Council (ICC) on the matter; if only these regulations had come a few years earlier, Kachra would never have been able to win the match for the farmers and the British could have enjoyed imposing dugna lagaan. Had they banned Imran Khan, our politics would have been deprived of the numerous cricket analogies ...

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You have to risk it to get the biscuit, Team Green!

Another Test match, another humiliating batting performance and another defeat. Forgive me if I am not surprised. It would be a lie if I said that I am at a loss of words when in reality I sort of saw it coming. The only benefit I’ve gained from such disappointing batting is that my vocabulary has improved significantly because now I have to explain just how bad their performance was. This embarrassing show of batting from the Pakistani team is nothing new but, unfortunately, just like our beloved Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB), our cricket team has not shown any inclination in identifying ...

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Younus Khan: Rekindling the charm cricket once had

Fans of Pakistani cricket were not able to watch their team playing at an international level, but enjoyed the same emotional feelings through other sports; at the biggest stages including FIFA World Cup and Wimbledon. Aged and youngsters recalled the emotions shared by Pakistani cricket players in the form of nail biting and enthralling performances, engulfing the feeling of joy, which is the main objective of sports. Coming back to cricket, however, the expectations were high because it was a test for cricket to prove that it does not lag behind the world’s leading sports, where excitement, skill and competition matter the most. Despite ...

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Pakistan versus Sri Lanka: Victory or disgrace?

The relentless, brilliant and energetic Younus Khan played a heroic knock of 177 on day one of the first Test match between Pakistan and Sri Lanka, and simultaneously completed his 24th Test hundred. The Pakistani side was at a dismal 53 runs with a loss of three wickets before Younus took charge and saved his team from facing a terrible defeat. Pakistan needed a solid inning, in order to win this Test series, and Younus made sure of that by giving a strong target to the host team. Pakistan ended up posting 451 on the scoreboard, which, by the way, ...

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Dale Steyn: The best fast bowler ever!

While the whole cricket fraternity was going gaga over Dale Steyn’s bowling heroics during the second Test match of the last series played between South Africa and Australia, a couple of my friends came up with a peculiar yet interesting theory. According to them, due to the dearth of good fast bowlers in Test cricket, batsmen, in general, have become complacent, and as a consequence, their techniques have become more vulnerable against top quality swing bowling. Some very good bowlers, taking advantage of the technical deficiencies of modern batsmen, have mustered up career figures that are comparable to the best of all time, even if ...

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Reliving history, uniting a nation: Miandad’s “chakka” and Afridi immortalised

Ever since I can remember, people have spoken about the Miandad “chakka”. India versus Pakistan. The holy grail of all rivalries. A target of 246. The sacred Sharjah ground. Women and children prayed. One wicket remained. It was the last ball of the final over and six runs were needed to win. Miandad hit the winning six and was forever immortalised winning the hearts of an entire nation. That was 1986. In 2014, 28 years later Pakistan beat India in perhaps the best match my generation has ever witnessed in their lifetime. The similarities have been plastered everywhere, ludicrous stats thrown ...

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