KARACHI: While becoming the first Pakistani to reach the marathon milestone of 10,000 Test runs on day three of the opening Test against the West Indies in Kingston on Sunday, Younis Khan became the oldest cricketer to the five-figure mark.
But Younis is the third fastest in terms of matches played to complete the coveted landmark and sixth best in terms of number of innings to get there.
At the ripe old age of 39 years and 145 days, Younis eclipsed the previous record held by Shivnarine Chanderpaul of the West Indies, who was aged 37 years and 254 days. The left-handed Chanderpaul brought up his 10,000 runs against Australia at Roseau in April 2012.
Prior to Chanderpaul, Sunil Gavaskar was the oldest (37 years, 237 days) when the Indian stalwart became the first batsman in Test history to register 10,000 runs when playing against Pakistan at Ahmedabad in March 1987.
West Indian legend Brian Lara holds the record of least number of matches to the 10,000-club. The left-handed genius took 111 compared to Sri Lanka’s Kumar Sangakkara (115) and Younis, who is currently competing in his 116th Test.
Lara together with Sangakkara and the legendary Indian Sachin Tendulkar are the quickest to the landmark in terms of innings — 195 each, followed by Australia’s Ricky Ponting (196 innings) and another Indian, Rahul Dravid (206), while Younis batted for the 208th time in Test cricket at the Sabina Park on Sunday.
Extensive analysis of Younis’ tremendous achievement for Pakistan makes a very impressive reading.
The remarkable right-hander sits joint-second in the list of century-makers at the time of completing 10,000 runs alongside Tendulkar and Gavaskar, who both had 34 hundreds (Gavaskar never scored another since he played his final Test at Bangalore, which followed the match at Ahmedabad). Ponting tops this elite group with 35 three-figure knocks.
Younis is also among just three players to have made a triple ton at the time of completing 10,000 runs. The others are Lara (who also made the solitary Test quadruple century along with 375 — both versus England) and Mahela Jayawardene.
Moreover, Younis is the only player to score at least one hundred in 11 different countries, completing the unique set while making an unbeaten 175 against Australia in Sydney last January and his five second-innings centuries are most by anyone.
Younis averages a grandiose 88.06 against Pakistan’s old foes India, while he also has 50-plus average against Bangladesh (79.75), Zimbabwe (73.00), Australia (57.40) and Sri Lanka (51.95).
The break-up of his career summary shows Younis has scored most runs against Sri Lanka (2,286 runs in 29 Tests) followed by England (1,426 in 17), India (1,321 in just nine matches), Australia (1,148 in 11), West Indies (966 in 13, including the ongoing Test), South Africa (990 in 14), New Zealand (749 in 11), Bangladesh (638 in 7) and Zimbabwe (511 in 5).
The most number of centuries Younis scored against any particular country is eight against Sri Lanka, followed by five versus India, four each against Australia, South Africa and England, three apiece against Bangladesh and West Indies, two versus New Zealand and one against Zimbabwe after beginning his Test career with scores of 12 and 107 against Sri Lanka at Rawalpindi in early 2000.
Published in Dawn, April 25th, 2017