ISLAMABAD - Pacer Junaid Khan was disappointed for not being picked up in the national squad saying it was disheartening to see others given preference despite his experience and performances.

“I am unable to understand why the selectors would not pick experienced players like me when that was the need of the hour. I am not claiming that I destroyed batting line-ups or took many 5-fers during the Quaid-e-Azam Trophy, but my bowling was good. Several players during the last domestic season praised me about the quality of my bowling.

“I have to admit that this has been a disheartening situation, as has been the case on many occasions during my international career, where others have been given preference, despite my experience and performances,” quoted him as saying.

To a question, he said bowling coach Waqar Younis knows his skills very well. “If we look at many of the matches we won during Misbah-ul-Haq’s captaincy, it should be clear to him that I had a key role in those victories amongst the fast bowlers. If we just go by personal relationships, then one would expect Waqar and Misbah, who is the head coach-cum-chief selector, to back me as well.

“However, it all depends on how well I perform in domestic cricket and how well both Waqar and Misbah support me. I suppose they will be happy to support me if I perform well and will probably not even consider me if I don’t come up to their standards,” he said.

Junaid also praised young speedster Naseem Shah and said he was a wonderful bowler who is blessed with the ability to bowl with good pace. “I have found him to be mentally strong and someone who understands how to bowl to different batsmen. However, I do feel that it’s too early to judge Naseem at the moment, as he is still new on the international scene and learning his trade,” he said.

Junaid said the same applies to Shaheen Shah Afridi, who is an outstanding talent. “But we know that Shaheen, like Naseem, hasn’t spent a lot of time in international cricket and needs more time to prove himself. In the past, we have had Hassan Ali, who performed well for a short period of time and is now nowhere to be seen. A good bowler is one that performs consistently for 3-4 years and only then we can judge their utility and quality,” he said.

Junaid said this happens a lot in Pakistan where almost every year, some new bowlers appear and then disappear soon afterwards. “Recently, we’ve had Mohammad Hasnain, who was brought into the Pakistan side due to his extreme pace, but he has gradually declined,” he added.