Younis has silenced his critics forever: Asif Iqbal

Published November 1, 2014
“Too many cricketers resort to media to reply to the criticisms levelled against them but it never really works. This is the way to do it.” -Photo by AFP
“Too many cricketers resort to media to reply to the criticisms levelled against them but it never really works. This is the way to do it.” -Photo by AFP

KARACHI: Applauding Younis Khan for his glorious batting in the ongoing Test series against Australia, former Pakistan captain Asif Iqbal on Friday said the coveted achievements made by the seasoned batsman should shut up his critics forever.

“Younis’ performance in the UAE should forever silence all his critics. Not only has he equalled Herbert Sutcliffe’s 89-year record of three hundreds against Australia in three consecutive innings, but has done so at a time when his career and the image of Pakistan cricket were in serious need of rejuvenation,” Asif said when approached by Dawn.

“Remember, his great feat started after a disastrous series against Sri Lanka and an equally dismal thrashing at the hands of Australia in the T20 and ODI series [prior to the ongoing Test rubber]. Younis was excluded from the ODI squad as the national selectors had made it clear that as far as ODIs were concerned he was not in the frame.

“Then came the Test series against Australia in which a straight Pakistan whitewash was expected and when Pakistan were reduced to 7 for 2 in the first half an hour of the opening Test, everything appeared to be going according to the prediction and popular expectation — or would apprehension be a better word? Few would have expected Pakistan to get more than 150.

“It was at this point that Younis walked in. The determination with which he played showed that he had a point to prove and he proved it in the best possible way — with his bat,” Asif, who played 58 Tests between 1964 and 1980, added.

“Too many cricketers resort to media to reply to the criticisms levelled against them but it never really works. This is the way to do it. Younis’ runs have come at an excellent rate too and anyone now trying to exclude him from Pakistan’s World Cup squad would be considerably less than intelligent,” reckoned Asif who led Pakistan in the 1975 and 1979 World Cups.

Asif believed Younis’ Pakistan record of Test centuries would remain intact for quite some time.

“His [Pakistan] record of 27 hundreds is destined to stand for a very long time. More importantly he has infused confidence into a brittle middle order and given that the World Cup is only a few months away, his supreme effort could not have been better timed,” Asif emphasised.

“Perhaps it may even be argued that his feat is that much more admirable given that he was batting in a line-up that has still to prove itself at the international level,” the former Pakistan skipper said of Younis who on Friday in Abu Dhabi converted his century into double hundred.

“Records are meant to be broken and the longer Younis plays the more records he will smash. And he will because he is playing better than those whose records he is breaking,” Asif opined about the right-handed batting maestro who on Friday also became the third Pakistan batsman — after legends Javed Miandad and Inzamam-ul-Haq — to cross 8,000-run mark in Test cricket.

Interestingly, Younis after his marathon 213-run knock on Friday also lifted his Test runs tally exactly equal to that of great Sir Gary Sobers (8,032) of the West Indies with both of them having featured in 93 Tests.

Published in Dawn, November 1st, 2014

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