Younis reveals how Rahul Dravid shaped his career

Published August 6, 2015
“Dravid was a top class professional and one of the greats of the modern era and I learned from him,” says Younis Khan. — AFP/File
“Dravid was a top class professional and one of the greats of the modern era and I learned from him,” says Younis Khan. — AFP/File

KARACHI: Pakistan’s ace Test player Younis Khan has credited batting great Rahul Dravid for his success, saying the former Indian captain “played a huge” role in his development as a top class batsman.

“The tips and advice I got from Dravid at the early stages of my career helped me develop into a top batsman,” Younis was quoted as saying by the Press Trust of India.

Recalling Pakistan’s previous tours to India where he sought Dravid's help in fine-tuning his game, Younis said the Indian maestro had been always helpful.

“Dravid was a top class professional and one of the greats of the modern era and I learned from him,” the Pakistan veteran said.

Younis now requires just 18 more runs to become Pakistan’s leading run scorer in Tests and though it will be a monumental achievement, the 37-year-old said captaining the side was his biggest honour. And he admitted, not for the time, that stepping down from the role after leading Pakistan to the 2009 World T20 title, was ‘mistake’.

“When I was made captain in 2009 I had told the then chairman of PCB Ijaz Butt that if I didn't deliver I would resign from the captaincy myself.

“I decided to resign as captain when we were playing New Zealand in Abu Dhabi in 2009 because I felt I wasn’t able to unite the team.”

Younis’ resignation came in the backdrop of a players' rebellion against him. And although there was no overt support from the PCB, Younis went on to declare Butt as “one of the strongest heads of PCB”.

“Butt was ready to take hard decisions even with players. He supported me a lot as captain and he was the one who made me the captain and we went on to win the World T20 Championship in England in 2009.”

Admitting that he had made many mistakes in his illustrious career, Younis said: “No one is perfect. Everyone makes mistakes. I also made mistakes and one of them was to leave the captaincy.

“But now I realise it is a big honour to lead your country and if I ever get a chance to lead the team again, I will do it.”

Of T20 cricket and money-rich IPL

Younis was open about his choice of walking away from the glamour of Twenty20 cricket after leading Pakistan to glory.

“I believe this cricket is for youngsters and you can see that in other cricketing nations as well.”

In response to a question whether his decision to quit the format had something to do with his initial stint at the lucrative Indian Premier League (IPL), the 37-year-old veteran admitted it was one of the major reasons.

“Yes, it is true I wasn’t happy when I got to play just one match for Rajasthan Royals. I don't know what Shane Warne’s reasons were to not to go with me, even though we had already qualified for the knockout stages. I felt offended.

“But to be honest after looking at the environment in IPL’s first season, I don't think I would have been able to adjust myself.”

Younis, putting his personal assessment of the league aside, insisted that IPL was “good for cricket” despite all the revelations of spot-fixing cases attached to it.

“Look, where there is big money there will always be scandals. This is life. The element of greed is always present. But it is good for the players as they are earning well and it is good entertainment for the people.”

He remained optimistic about the fate of the Pakistan Super League and said he would give T20 another chance if the league ever saw the light of the day.

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