Rarely does Pakistan play a Test series without a major contribution from Younis Khan. Pakistan’s ongoing tour of England, however, was different.
For six innings across three Tests, Younis Khan struggled. He hopped around the crease and was made to look extremely awkward by England’s pacers.
Many suggested that age had finally caught up with Pakistan’s batting stalwart and that this tour spelled the end of his illustrious career.
With 122 runs in six innings and a high score of 33, Younis Khan’s tour to England was quite barren and all critics had a ball sharpening their knives.
As Pakistan returned to the Oval, their favourite hunting ground in England, they needed something special to come back from the hammering at Old Trafford and the embarrassment at Edgbaston.
That something special came from the master ─ the one and only King Khan ─ Younis Khan.
With one monumental innings he responded to all those critics and reminded the world why he is among the best batsmen ever to play the game.
Younis Khan’s 218 at the Oval was his sixth double century, a Pakistan record that he now shares with Javed Miandad. Younis is in elite company now with six double centuries to his name.
The quantum of runs, however, was not what was special in Younis Khan’s innings at the Oval. It was the way he went about getting those runs. A dissection of his innings shows it was a masterclass by a legend.
Deconstructing his innings (thanks to Hassan Cheema) shows the different gears Younis was in throughout his time at the crease. It was a great example of how to build a Test innings and it was executed to perfection.
The watchful start, the aggression after being set, the caution when the second new ball came into play, continued caution at the start of a new day, and aggression once again when he was left to bat with the tail – that was King Khan’s batting masterclass at the Oval.
Every century that Younis scores takes him one step towards cementing his greatness. Every century of his career creates new records and helps him reach new heights. His double century at the Oval was no different. Here’s a look at where Younis stands now among the other all-time greats.
One of the highest averages in the game
Among all batsmen who have scored at least 8,000 runs in tests, Younis Khan has the fifth highest average. Only Sachin, Kallis, Sangakkara, and Sir Gary Sobers average more than Younis.
The best innings per 100 ratio in the modern day
No batsman in the modern era scores or has scored Test hundreds as frequently as Younis. His innings per Test century ratio of 6.03 is the best in the modern world. The only batsmen with better ratios played Test cricket before 1960.
One of the best conversion rates in the game
No one in the modern era converts or has converted their fifties into hundreds at a better rate than Younis Khan.
The only batsmen with better conversion rates, Sir Don Bradman and Clyde Walcott, played their last Test before 1960.
Where they all stood after 193 Test innings
Younis Khan reached his 32nd Test century in his 193rd innings.
Only Ricky Ponting (176) and Sachin Tendulkar (179) got there faster than him. These two batsmen are also the only ones who had scored more centuries than Younis has by their 193rd Test inning.
This is how Younis stacks up against all Test batsmen who have scored over 10,000 runs.
Younis Khan is not only a modern day great, he is an all-time great of the game.
He already possesses all the Pakistan Test batting records and is slowly inching towards some world records.
He averages above 50 in Tests played at home, away, and at neutral venues – a record that not many batsmen can boast of.
Age is just a number when it comes to Younis Khan. Instead of slowing him down, it has only increased his motivation and hunger for more.
He claims he has a few more years left in him and we believe him considering his fitness level. Those few more years may take him to even greater heights.
He is our very own and the only King Khan.