The 26-year-old’s uncle is former Pakistan captain Inzamam-ul-Haq, however Imam’s exploits within the drawn Rawalpindi Check have now given him recognition in his personal proper.
The pitch could have been a batting-friendly flat observe, however Imam nonetheless needed to present immense focus and self-discipline for knocks of 157 and 111 not out.
In doing so he grew to become the tenth Pakistan batsman to attain a century in every innings of a Check, and solely the fourth in opposition to Australia, behind former captains Younis Khan, Misbah-ul-Haq and Azhar Ali.
His efficiency is not going to solely cement his place within the Pakistan Check facet, however will even silence a legion of critics who go after him after each failure.
𝗥𝗮𝘄𝗮𝗹𝗽𝗶𝗻𝗱𝗶 𝗖𝗿𝗶𝗰𝗸𝗲𝘁 𝗦𝘁𝗮𝗱𝗶𝘂𝗺 𝗛𝗼𝗻𝗼𝘂𝗿𝘀 𝗕𝗼𝗮𝗿𝗱 𝘂𝗽𝗱𝗮𝘁𝗲: @patcummins30 enters the match outcome. 🖊 @ImamUlHaq12,… https://t.co/rSo7xxUoEG
— Pakistan Cricket (@TheRealPCB) 1646754070000
The criticism often circles again to strategies he solely has a spot within the facet by way of the household identify.
“I do not care what individuals say right here and there and by no means lose coronary heart,” Imam mentioned after scoring his maiden Check century on Friday.
“I need to take challenges and excel.”
Regardless of being cricket royalty Imam’s journey hasn’t been simple.
His uncle is Pakistan’s third-highest Check run-scorer with 8,830 and most prolific in one-day internationals, 11,701.
Regardless of apparent pure expertise Imam was labelled “parchi” — an Urdu time period used for somebody given undue favouritism — and never helped by the truth that he was first picked in 2018 when his uncle was the chief selector.
It’s been an awesome week. Milestones have been achieved by our boys and a few actually wonderful recollections have been made right here in Rawa… https://t.co/sKFYF8cupS
— Pakistan Cricket (@TheRealPCB) 1646742949000
Imam had the sport, most followers agreed, however was nepotism at play?
The bespectacled Imam was Pakistan’s highest run-getter within the 2014 Beneath-19 World Cup — the place Pakistan misplaced within the closing — ending with 382 runs in six video games.
He additionally confirmed type in an A Sequence in opposition to Bangladesh, earlier than scoring 848 in 11 matches within the 2016-17 home season.
Inzamam insisted he wasn’t taking part in household favourites, saying his nephew was chosen on the recommendation of coaches Mickey Arthur and Grant Flower.
“Mickey and Grant got here to me and pressured that they needed him for the crew, so solely after that he was chosen,” he mentioned on the time.
A spherical of applause for @ImamUlHaq12 from his teammates 👏🏼#BoysReadyHain l #PAKvAUS https://t.co/3d8i6FGbDf
— Pakistan Cricket (@TheRealPCB) 1646737818000
The teen made an prompt affect, scoring 100 on his ODI debut in opposition to Sri Lanka in Abu Dhabi in 2017.
His first Check, in 2018, was a match-winning 74 not out in opposition to Eire when Pakistan have been teetering at 14-3, chasing 160.
Whereas Imam’s ODI type solely improved, his Check fortunes slumped and he was dropped after failing in Australia in 2019.
However on the again of two a whole lot in home cricket, Imam returned to the fold — and made the prospect depend in Rawalpindi.
“Each time I failed they began trolling me however I’ve a resolve that I’ll reply them with my bat, with my runs,” he mentioned.
“I need to make my very own identify.”