Pakistan cricket team is enduring a tough time in Australia during the first Test against the hosts at Brisbane. However, there were sparks of fight on day 1 thanks to a good half-century by Asad Shafiq and a handy contribution from Yasir Shah.
But for the viewers watching the live coverage of the match, there was one very funny moment. The no. 11 batsman for Pakistan, Imran Khan, a right-arm medium pacer, came out to bat after the fall of the ninth wicket in the form of Asad Shafiq. At that time, the on-air commentators included veteran broadcaster Kerry O' Keeffe.
Having been a radio commentator for several years, O'Keeffe is known for combining a great sense of humour with sharp analysis. His witty comments and unique laughter has earned him a cult following. So, it was no surprise that when Imran Khan, namesake of the greatest Pakistani cricketer and current Prime Minister of the country came out to bat, he was bound to say something.
O' Keeffe's comment was: "I wonder how many restaurants Imran Khan has got kicked out of in Pakistan... He probably makes a booking in the name of Imran Khan and when he shows up, the staff says, 'You are not Imran Khan!'" This led to great laughter among his fellow commentators.
This Imran Khan, no relation of the great former captain, is a 32-year old medium-pace bowler with a wide of the crease, front-on action. In his career so far, the seamer has played 9 Tests, the ongoing one being his ninth, and has picked up 28 wickets at an average of 30.14 and strike-rate of 53.2.
Ironically, when one sees him bowling, it's hard to believe that he would be a bowler of any consequence in a country like Pakistan. On the sort of flat pitches that his nation produces, and currently plays on in UAE, high-pace is one of the basic requirements to succeed.
Reverse-swing, a great weapon in such conditions, can only be effective when used at high speeds. Without possessing even moderately-high speeds, a seam bowler isn't expected to make a big mark. But Imran Khan junior, as he is sometimes referred to, has done that. In his first-class career, he has 348 wickets in 97 matches.
While he hasn't taken Test cricket by storm, the native of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa does have one five-for under his belt at the highest level. Interestingly, his Test debut also came against Australia – in 2014. His previous Test was also vs Australia, in Australia in January 2017. He will have to prove himself to stay in contention at a time when a lot of talented youngsters are coming through.