Yousuf-Younis: Lifeline of Pakistan batting

Published: Thursday, March 1, 2007, 23:09 [IST]
Share this on your social network:
   Facebook Twitter Google+    Comments Mail

Pakistan's Mohammad Yousuf and Younis Khan could not be more different in personality and style.

Yet their combination will be crucial in the impending World Cup to bolster what has often been a fragile and impulsive batting lineup.

The pair's influence on the team has been absolute even in the presence of captain Inzamam-ul-Haq, who has scored 11,665 runs in 375 one-dayers.

In the recent one-day series in South Africa, the one time both of them fired together in the second match at Durban, Pakistan posted an imposing total of 351 and won.

Yousuf, 32, is a stylist in the classic mould who paces himself beautifully at the crease, Younis is more flamboyant and displays the fearlessness that befits his Pathan roots.

He loves to take the attack to the bowlers rocking onto his back foot to play his trademark pull and cut shots.

Yousuf, who converted to Islam in 2005, was at his best last year and set a record for most test runs in a calender year when he scored 1,788 runs with nine hundreds, breaking a 30-year old record by West Indian Vivian Richards.

In the one-dayers he has deflated the opposition with his precision batting that has given him a tally of 7,853 runs in 233 matches with an average of 41.77.

Younis has scored 3,951 runs in 148 games but it has been his ability to dominate at the number three position on all pitches and in crisis situations that has made him an important member of the side.

His role there is now a defining one considering Pakistan has tried over a dozen different opening pairs in the last few years.

Yousuf and Younis are looked at as the logical successors for the captaincy when, as expected, Inzamam retires after the World Cup.

If they, however, do strike form in the World Cup it might extend Inzamam's career and could keep them waiting for the captaincy.


Write Comments