Batting legend Younis Khan has urged incumbent national team captain Sarfraz Ahmed to improve his personal form, reminding the wicketkeeper-batsman that he will not be able to live off his team's Champions Trophy triumph forever.
Sarfraz had held the team's batsmen responsible for the humiliating defeat in the third ODI against New Zealand, but neglected to mention how he himself contributed a paltry 25 runs in his three outings so far in the series.
That lean patch with the bat led the outspoken Younis to remind Sarfraz that there is an expiration date to the goodwill he accumulated from leading the side to Champions Trophy victory.
“Although Sarfraz has brought the Champions Trophy title home, in recent matches his performance is not satisfactory and for this he will have to concentrate on his own performance and get serious,” Younis said during a media talk on Sunday. “As a captain, you have additional responsibility but you have to keep up your performance too.”
“Sarfaraz will have to give time to himself and work on fitness and skills to take up his performance,” he added.
Sarfraz has time and again said that conditions in New Zealand are very difficult for his men to adopt to, and while Younis agrees with that assessment, he feels a team of Pakistan's caliber can do better than hide behind excuses.
“The team always faces difficulty when they go to play in New Zealand," Younis said. "The conditions are quite different and tougher than England, South Africa or even Australia."
He continued: “They should be backed rather than being bashed, but they will have to adopt better to the conditions. They cannot blame the conditions for every defeat. They will have to work on their skills and develop them accordingly. The technique should be tweaked according to the conditions. They cannot just play the blame game every time.”
Younis, who ended his playing career following the Carribean tour last year, also put himself in the frame for batting coach's position, saying: "I am working with UBL, but will always be available for the national team if they want me as their batting coach."