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"If a player wants to learn how to handle pressure, he should play against India" - Junaid Khan

Junaid Khan in his bowling action.
Junaid Khan in his bowling action.

Pakistan fast bowler Junaid Khan has opined that an India-Pakistan encounter is the most high-pressure game in international cricket. The left-arm bowler believes that by playing against India a player can learn a lot in terms of how to handle pressure.

India and Pakistan last played in a bilateral series in India in 2012-13. The visitors won the ODI series 2-1 while the T20I series was level at 1-1. Junaid Khan was part of the Pakistan side and recently acknowledged that he learned from that tour how to deal with pressure situations.

"If a player wants to learn how to handle pressure, he should play against India. There is a lot of pressure on both teams during India-Pakistan encounters. I learned how to handle pressure during the 2012 series against India in India. Fans from both countries will enjoy these matches but the decision to play the series depends on the administrators," Khan said in a recent chat with Cricket Pakistan.

The 31-year-old, however, is not too optimistic about the resumption of cricket rivalry between the two countries any time soon.

"Cricket should happen between both countries but it doesn’t look like it will take place for the next two or four years," he said.

Junaid Khan had a terrific outing with the ball against India in the 3-match ODI series in 2012. The left-arm bowler picked up 8 wickets in three games at an average of 12.38, while his economy in the series was 3.67. Interestingly, the bowler accounted for Virat Kohli's wicket in all three games.

When did Junaid Khan last play for Pakistan?

Junaid Khan
Junaid Khan

Although Junaid Khan enjoyed decent success in the early stages of his international career, he has now fallen off the national team's radar.

The bowler last represented Pakistan in an ODI against England in 2019, while his last Test appearance came way back in 2015. In T20Is, he last represented his country in 2014.

Junaid Khan emerged as a skilled swing and seam bowler who had the capability to bowl against right-handers at a good pace. The bowler has 189 wickets in international cricket across all formats.

It remains to be seen whether he can bring himself back into contention for a place in the Pakistan national team.

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Edited by Sudeshna Banerjee
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