Unfamiliar conditions a test of patience and fitness, says young top-order batsman, who is set for his Test debut.
A young Pakistan Test side was keen to prove a point and show themselves capable of handling the unfamiliar conditions they will face on their tour of Ireland and England, Imam-ul-Haq has said.
“Everybody knows that Misbah-ul-Haq and Younis Khan have just retired and our young guys have to do a lot of work. It's always good to come and prove a point, and we're looking forward to this series,” said Imam, ahead of the Test against Ireland starting on Friday 11 May.
Pakistan named five uncapped players in the squad for the one-off Test against Ireland – a historic first for the new Test nation – and the three Tests against England. Imam, who made a century on one-day international debut last year, is one of the new faces.
The 22-year-old is set to make a “dream” Test debut against Ireland after bringing up two fifties in the two tour matches. “I have been scoring runs in the two four-day matches and that gives me confidence. I'm very hopeful that I'll do well in this series,” he said.
“Obviously it will be my first Test match, my first pressure match. I will be very nervous, I won't lie. (But) that's what we play for, that's my dream since I grew up, to play Test cricket for your country.”
In their two tour games, Pakistan got a stern introduction to the early summer conditions. “You need patience over here and it tests your fitness as well,” pointed out Imam. “Back home we had a very tough camp, so we are very hopeful and very excited. We're hoping to do something very special here."
Imam admitted he didn’t expect to be playing his first Test match in Ireland. With memories of the 2007 World Cup loss to Ireland refusing to fade away, he saw the Test as an opportunity to get some revenge. At the same time, he had words of encouragement for newest Test side.
“They are playing their first Test match, so we want to give them good luck,” he said. “It's very good for Irish cricket. We hope they will play good and be a very good side in future.”