Rao Iftikhar Anjum is another exciting addition to Pakistan's seemingly endless production of fast bowlers. Iftikhar, however, is more Aaqib Javed than Wasim Akram or Waqar Younis, and his outswinger is considered by many to be as successful as Aaqib's. He can bowl reverse-swing - a requirement for Pakistani bowlers, when the ball gets a bit rougher, with good control over his yorkers. Iftikhar has performed consistently well in the domestic circuit since making his debut three years ago, taking over 200 wickets on the generally lifeless pitches of Pakistan. It was his stellar performances in the current domestic season that brought him to notice. Iftikhar led his team - the Zarai Taraqiati Bank Limited - to victory in the Patron's Trophy final against WAPDA, taking seven wickets in the first innings and ending with ten in the match. Not surprisingly, he was included in Pakistan's one-day squad for the series against India in 2004, before making his debut in the Paktel Cup seven moths later. He has since proved himself skillful as a back-up bowler.
But ongoing injuries to Pakistan's frontline pacers means he remains regular in the picture and he was rewarded with a Test debut against Sri Lanka in April 2006.However, with Shoiab and Asif falling foul of doping controversies, injuries, and disciplinary problems, Iftikhar was again called on and found himself as one of the more senior bowlers. He remains a permanent part of Pakistan's wider plans. He was part of the squad for the ICC World Twenty20 as well.
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