Junaid and Irfan, a potent fast-bowling pair
Over the last two decades, amid the chaos and instability, the production of thrilling fast bowlers from Pakistan has been in an eyebrow-raising regularity. Since the trend set by the majestic Imran Khan Pakistan have, over the years, turned out likes of Wasim, Waqar, Aaqib, Shoaib Akhtar and many others. Mohammad Asif and Mohammad Amir were the last of the green leopards to et the cricketing world on fire. Sadly, they got lost.
But Pakistan's pace factory is run by passion and this passion to become a fast bowler has unearthed two left-hand bowlers whose exhibitions are nothing but bone-chilling. In the recently concluded series against India, Junaid Khan and Mohammad Irfan hustled and bustled the opposition batsmen with pace, bounce and movement. Both of them rattled the timber with such regularity that it seemed that a wood chopper was chopping the wood with all his might.
At 7 foot 1 inch, Mohammad Irfan is a giant. At first look one would guess that he is a contender for the Pakistan basketball team. But after witnessing him bowl, you sit back and discover that this man was born to carry on the legacy of Joel Garner and Curtly Ambrose. Like the two aforementioned West Indians, Irfan utilizes his height immensely. He has an unerring accuracy and his height enables him to extract bounce even from unresponsive tracks. He bounces the ball from a nagging length with steep pace, and to compound the agony, Irfan also swings the bowl straight into the blockhole.
On the other hand, Junaid Khan's boyish look - with a dab of flair with his Aamir Khan-like patch of hair from Dil Chahta Hai - gives the impression of a Bollywood rookie all set to rock the silver screen. But with the ball in hand, Junaid gave the Indian batsmen a torrid time, especially with his incoming deliveries. In Chennai, Virat Kohli didn't have any clue as to what jagged back in to disturb his timber, Virender Sehwag was ripped apart by a vicious nip-backers; Gautam Gambhir seemed less
assured while the tail begged for mercy. Junaid's asset is his discipline in length. Consistently he moves the ball from a good length. If Pakistan's most cherished darling, reverse swing, gets included in his armory then Junaid will be even more of a threat.
Cricket pundits are getting nostalgic from watching the chemistry between Irfan and Junaid. With sizzling aggression and astonishing wicket-taking abilities while bowling in tandem, Junaid and Irfan have raised hopes of a new fast-bowling Pakistan pair. It would be an unnecessary burden to tag them as the next Wasim and Waqar, especially since Irfan is 30, and would only create useless the pressure of expectations. They must always be hungry for success. And above all, the PCB must save them from their ugly whims.
More about Faisal Caesar
Faisal Caesar hails from Bangladesh and is a doctor by profession. He works at Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujib Medical University in the department of Cardiology as a medical officer. He is yearning to become a cardiologist in the future. He’s an ardent follower of cricket and expresses his love and passion for cricket through writing.
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