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'I did get upset when I was dropped from the Test team' – Imam-ul-Haq
Pakistan News

'I did get upset when I was dropped from the Test team' – Imam-ul-Haq

Imam-ul-Haq has revealed his disappointment at being left out of the Test side following his failure in the day/night encounter against Australia at Adelaide.

Imam, who boasts a terrific record in ODI cricket, is yet to make an impression in the conventional five-day format and he believes the fickle nature of his spot in the team has often hampered his confidence.

In Pakistan's first Test assignment following the South Africa tour, Imam was excluded from the side for the opening encounter of the two-match series against Australia.

In the second game at Adelaide, he was paired with Shan Masood at the top of the order, faring just two runs across the two innings including a duck.

"I did get upset when I was dropped from the Test team. I thought I would get one more chance in Pakistan as playing Test cricket is my passion and topmost priority. But you can't get everything you wish for," Imam told reporters in a video conference on Wednesday.

"I admit I do not have the perfect technique and am working hard on my shortcomings. I am hoping to transfer my one-day mindset into Test cricket so that I am able to make a grand comeback in the format," he added.

The brightest moment of Imam's budding 11-Test career perhaps came in his debut appearance in Ireland when he guided Pakistan to victory on a green top following a jittery top-order wobble.

Since then, his performances in the red-ball arena have ceased to be of high standards as he averages a mediocre 25.52.

"I need to score big in Tests as I am very desperate to prove myself in red-ball cricket. My struggles in Test cricket are mainly due to a lack of confidence rooted in a dearth of performances there," Imam pointed out.

"If I get one more chance you will see a different Imam in Tests," he promised.

In Imam's absence, Abid Ali has grabbed the headlines with his prolific run across Pakistan's home season.

The stylish right-handed opener smashed a century against Sri Lanka in his first match and followed it up with another ton in Karachi.

Abid's solid partnerships upfront with the in-form Masood suggests Pakistan may have finally settled on a stable opening combination.

Despite the newfound sense of calmness in Pakistan's top-order, Imam opines he is in the reckoning for a comeback to the Test side.

"This is the first time in a while that I have seen a race for Pakistan's opening spots among several batsmen, hence I am enjoying this development. I don't think a cricketer can progress unless he is met with tough competition from his counterparts."

"It was outstanding to see Abid Ali perform like the way he did recently. This healthy competition is thus a very good sign for Pakistan cricket."

'Feels strange to play without spectators'

The coronavirus pandemic has been the main force of disruption affecting sports all around the world.

Amidst the current backdrop, there have been talks of resuming cricket behind closed doors. Although several members of the cricket fraternity have backed this proposition, Imam is not keen on energy-sapping contests without fans.

Also Read: Azhar Ali in favour of playing cricket behind closed doors

“If the T20 World Cup takes place, I feel it should be played in front of cricket fans as its charm is something else for players and everyone involved as it changes the whole scenario. But this will be decided by the ICC and all the cricket boards," Imam said.

“We played two matches in the PSL without spectators and it was a strange feeling surrounded by empty stands, so we will respect the PCB’s decision on it. But I personally feel that the PSL matches should also be played in front of the crowd.”

Uncertainty continues to linger over the return of normalcy in terms of cricket, prompting the need for players to remain fit amid the closure of professional training facilities.

With the PCB recently conducting online fitness tests for the centrally contracted players, Imam spoke about his home training arrangments to ensure he did not slack off.

“I have already managed things and all the equipment in my gym. I have hired a trainer also, who helps me through video calls. But match fitness cannot be compared with anything else, so we need around 10 to 15 days after the lockdown to recoup it for any national and international assignment.”