Dunedin (New Zealand), Nov.27 (ANI): Impressed by Umar Akmal's fighting innings in the first Test against New Zealand here, Pakistan cricket coach Intikhab Alam has predicted a 'great future' for the young right-hand batsmen.
"He is something very special and a very exciting player.He is a very hard working, dedicated cricketer. We are lucky to have him in the side and I think he's got a great future for Pakistan," Alam said after Akmal scored a brilliant century after the top order tumbled like a house of cards in the first test.
Pakistan made 332 in reply to New Zealand's first innings total of 429, with Umar making a strokeful 129 and wicket keeper Kamran Akmal chipping in with a useful 82 runs.
Alam said it was good to see that in his very first Test, Umar showed amazing temperament while playing his natural game.
"The good thing is that he never gets under pressure. He played his own natural game," The News quoted Alam, as saying.
While Umar was playing his first game, Kiwi pacer Shane Bond returned to the five-day game after a gap of over two years, and he too made an impact on the match by rattling the Pakistani batting line up by claiming five wickets in the first innings.
Bond said his body responded well to the challenge, adding that he would give his best to force a result in the match.
"My body felt pretty good the whole day and it's always nice to get wickets. I really enjoyed it," Bond said.
"We could still lose the game if we bat poorly but if we play well then we can set the game up and hopefully be the only team that can win it," he added. (ANI)