Umar is confident that he will regain his spot on the Test team
Pakistan opening batsman Taufeeq Umar may be recovering from a devastating shin injury, but that has not stopped his spirits from remaining sky-high as he still clings on to the hope of making a comeback someday and representing his country once again.
Umar became a regular face on the national team after disgraced former captain Salman Butt was found guilty of match-fixing in 2010.
In the 18 Tests that he played, Umar scored 1,214 runs, which included his personal best innings of 236 against Sri Lanka in Abu Dhabi, at a respectable average of 37.93.
However, due to his injury, he has now been replaced by Nasir Jamshed, who has been making quite a name for himself in the shorter formats of the game more than the longer format.
But, Umar is still confident that he can bounce back and reclaim his spot in the Test squad.
“Injury is always a setback for any player in world cricket,” he said. “I was unfortunate to have it at such a wrong time. But I was lucky it was not a serious injury and I am positive about my future. I only require another four weeks to get back in shape. The disappointment is obviously there as I was looking forward to the South Africa tour for a long time as I always enjoy playing against them and score a lot of runs.
“Injuries do come but that doesn’t mean that is it. I have been doing well since my comeback in 2010 and have nothing to fear about. The next months obviously are tough but I am ready to put in all the hard work to reclaim my place in the side.”
Umar is currently Pakistan’s second-highest run scorer against South Africa, with 730 runs, which include two centuries.
He had an absolutely outstanding tour of South Africa in 2002-03, where he scored 280 runs against the Proteas.
“There are certain teams I love to score runs against and South Africa is one of them,” he said. “I need not worry at all about whoever comes in to replace me. It’s in fact a good sign as there is a sense of competition for the slot, which is good for the team. I have good wishes for Nasir or whoever replaces me what is important is that they perform well. I am positive and have nothing to lose, I know I am around and will be available for the next series.”
Despite having to wait till June for Pakistan’s next Test series, which will be a tour of the Caribbean, Umar expressed his frustrations at the declining number of Test matches the national team seemed to be involved in every year.
In the past five years, Pakistan have only played 35 Test matches, which is the lowest number for a top ranked nation.
“This is the reason I am bit upset about my injury,” Umar said. “Last time I played a Test was against Sri Lanka some six months back and sometime the gap is more than that so it’s hard for a Test batsman to keep himself in the best shape.
“The last domestic season didn’t go well for me. I wasn’t up to the mark but [I] don’t want to make any excuses. I am standing tall and looking forward for positive prospects for my Test career.”