On his ODI debut in Abu Dhabi, Imam scored a century against Sri Lanka and has gone on to add three more centuries to his name in nine ODI appearances.
On his ODI debut in Abu Dhabi, Imam scored a century against Sri Lanka and has gone on to add three more centuries to his name in nine ODI appearances.

When Imam ul Haq broke in to the Pakistan national team in 2017, his famous uncle, the Pakistan legend Inzamam ul Haq, was the national selector and he continues to be. But, ever since, Imam has always been under scrutiny.

On his ODI debut in Abu Dhabi, Imam scored a century against Sri Lanka and has gone on to add three more centuries to his name in nine ODI appearances. Yet, the 22-year-old isn’t far away from feilding questions about his uncle and the circumstances of his debut, 2018 Asia Cup has not been any different; but by now the opener seems to have find a way to negotiate them.

“Inzamam is my uncle and it is not my fault,” said Imam ahead of the 2018 Asia Cup, adding, “He has been a legend for Pakistan and there is pressure, I won’t lie. sometimes have to deal with it. But now, I’m used to it. The support system around me is good and I now know how to handle these things. Nine matches and four international hundreds, the start has been good. I have a bat and there is a ground and I just want to perform”.

And Imam is looking forward to the Asia Cup as the platform to finally break out of his uncle’s shadows and make a name for himself.

“I want to be Imam-ul-Haq. I want to have a memorable Asia Cup where people will remember me for my performance,” said Imam, who has scored 544 ODI runs at an average of 68.00.

Pakistan are in Group A comprising India and Hong Kong,  and there are no prizes for guessing which match is going to be the big one for Pakistan.

“India are a very good team and since Virat Kohli isn’t there, there will be a bit of a difference. But even without him, they are a good batting side and the conditions here in Dubai are pretty similar to Indian wickets,” he said.

In their most recent encounter, Pakistan beat India in the final of the Champions Trophy in 2017, but Imam believes previous records don’t matter when it comes to India vs Pakistan.

“I don’t think there is a psychological effect. Whenever Pakistan and India play each other, we have to control our nerves. It doesn’t matter what the previous record is and it depends on how you perform on the day. Both are very good sides and heading to the World Cup, it is going to be a very good match (on September 19),” he added.