Pakistan left-arm seamer Junaid Khan has gone on to become one of the spearheads of their bowling line-up, especially in the limited overs format. He is very accurate especially in the death overs and was instrumental in Pakistan’s triumphant Champions Trophy campaign in June. He is currently in Bangladesh playing for the Khulna Titans in the 5th edition of the Bangladesh Premier League (BPL).
The left-arm seamer bagged 20 wickets for the Titans in the previous year which also saw him finish as the 2nd highest wicket-taker of the tournament. He has been in impressive form even in this season and is carrying on from where he left in the previous season. He has already bagged five wickets in a couple of matches at an impressive economy rate of less than 6 per over.
During an interview with the Dhaka, Tribune Junaid discussed on various aspects. From Mahmudullah’s captaincy to Mahela Jayawardene’s coaching, Junaid shared insights on various topics. He also conceded the fact that he backed Bangladesh to beat India in the Semi-final of the Champions Trophy but they were eventually beaten soundly by the Men in Blue only to be beaten by Pakistan in the final.
Speaking on Mahmudullah who is the captain of the Titans, Junaid compared him with the likes of MS Dhoni and Misbah-ul-Haq.
“He is a great captain. I have seen cool minded captain like MS Dhoni or Misbah-ul-Haq. They are always cool and calm on the field and they never shout to players in the field. Mahmudullah is similar to that. He also respects the seniors and takes advice often if needed. Whenever unwanted things happen like dropped catch or misfielding or batsman getting out by playing loose shots or something like that, Mahmudullah never reacts angrily. He handles the situation calmly,” said Junaid.
He also feels that Mahmudullah has a great chance of leading the Bangladesh team in the future.
“Of course. He is a good option considering the way he captains Khulna Titans and perform consistently and he has also performed very well in the ICC events. After Mashrafe bin Mortaza, there are senior players like Mahmudullah, Shakib [al Hasan] and Tamim [Iqbal]. But among these three, I will vote Mahmudullah as captain,” said Junaid.
He also heaped praises on Bangladesh as a team who has been improving by leaps and bounds with each passing day. Speaking on whether he felt Bangladesh had the firepower to beat India in the Semi-final of the Champions Trophy Junaid said:
“Of course, Bangladesh have improved a lot. People thought “series against Bangladesh is easy” at one time.
“But times have changed. They have beaten England in Test and ODI in home. They have also whitewashed Pakistan and beaten India in ODI series. So they have improved a lot. Maybe BPL was one of reason as many youngsters have come through this kind of tournament. So yes we expected that Bangladesh can win the second semi-final against India. But anyway, Bangladesh lost in the end and it’s a part of game.”