Out of favour Umar Akmal eyes return to Test side

Last Updated: Tue, Feb 14, 2017 18:49 hrs

[Pakistan], Feb. 14 (ANI): Middle-order Pakistani batsman Umar Akmal, who has been out of the Test side for the past six years, still feels he can make a comeback to the national side in the longest format of the game.

Akmal, who made his Test debut in 2009, has played only 16 games with a batting average of 35.82 and one century. Owing to his inability to score big, Misbah-ul-Haq dropped him from the squad in September 2011, and since then he has been unable to win over selectors.

"I still wonder what I did wrong and where I went wrong to be dropped from Test side," the Express Tribune quoted Akmal as saying.

"They only dropped me saying that I am not suitable for Test cricket because I don't hold back, which is required in Tests."

The 26-year-old, however, feels that with approach to playing Test cricket changing in the recent past, his batting style is perfect and he deserves another chance.

"But the approach to playing Test cricket has changed over the years. Now teams score 350 or so in one day and matches hardly go into fifth day. I was playing the very same brand of cricket, which was actually evolving at that time, but I was dropped because I play fast and not the conventional way. Was that my mistake?"

"If so, then the whole world has now adapted this modern form of cricket in Tests as well," he added.

Umar, who is youngest of the three Akmal brothers, has often been at the receiving end for not being able to score big. But the right-handed batsman believes the criticism is harsh on him as he often comes to play when the situation requires him to score quick runs rather than build an innings.

"If I am asked to score ten per over then what you expect from me? Should I play for myself, score at five, and let the run rate mount on my team? No, I rather go out, play big, and try to achieve my team's requirement," he said.

Pointing out the position at which he comes to bat, Akmal said that his critic don't realise that the number he bats at is critical and there is the burden of extra responsibility.

"I still try to help my team out of pressure situations by pushing back the opponent, but sometimes I am not able to do so. But my intentions are clear that I want to play for my team according to the requirement and will play my shots," he added.

Recently, the right-hander, however, achieved an unwanted record for the most number of ducks in T20 cricket.

The 26-year-old was caught on slips by Mohammad Hafeez of young pacer Hassan Ali's delivery without opening his account, during the Pakistan Super League (PSL) tie between Lahore Qalandars and Peshawar Zalmi in Dubai on Sunday.

Akmal now has 24 ducks under his belt, surpassing South Africa's Herschelle Gibbs, Sri Lanka's Tillakaratne Dilshan, and West Indies' Dwayne Smith, who are all tied on 23. (ANI)



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