When a lean guy with sobriety & determination on his face went out to bat in a tense situation against Sri Lanka at national Stadium Karachi with his side 5 wickets down & trying hard to win. Coming at number 7 even after the all-rounder’s like Wasim Akram & Moin Khan, not much was expected of this guy who was one of the three men’s making debut for Pakistan in that match.
Younis Khan showed the glimpses of his fighting spirit in a losing cause where he battled hard & became the 9th wicket to fall after scoring 46 runs of 41 balls. The grit showed by Younis Khan made it obvious that Pakistan have found someone good in him.
Younis Khan Career Record
Impressive debut at ODI made the selectors to keep faith on this young lad & he got selected to represent Pakistan in the longest format. Struggling 12 runs of 55 balls in first innings was overshadowed by defiant knock of 112 runs for which he battled against the Muralitharan & co and become only the 7th Pakistani to score century on test debut at that time on 250 balls so that Pakistan can set a respectable target for Srilanka to chase. Unfortunately like his first ODI outing, his first test match also ended being on the losing side.
After early glimpses of talent shown by Younis Khan he remained in & out of the team due to inconsistent performances but somehow keeping his place in the side by scoring 5 more three figure innings in his next 59 outings.
The tour which made Younis a new star of Pakistan cricket was against India in 2005. He starts tour against arch rival India with scores of 9, 1, 147 & 0. This sequence shows the inconsistent trend Younis has followed throughout his career till then. One big score always surrounded by a string of low scores but who knows next test match scheduled at Bangalore with Pakistan 1-0 down against traditional rivals will transform the fortunes of Younis Khan.
Younis traveled the distance from struggler to dependable within in days. He amassed scores of 267 & 84 not out which not only made Pakistan to win the test match but also enable Pakistan to level the series. Younis Khan became an overnight star & showered with praise from all corners of the cricketing fraternity.
With new energy in his cricketing career he started a roller coaster ride which continued till Younis Khan last test match in West Indies when he scored his 10,000th run in test cricket & became the first Pakistani to achieve this landmark, leaving greats of Pakistan batting Javed Miandad, Zaheer Abbas, Inzamam ul Haq & Mohammad Yousuf well behind in terms of runs.
This ride to glory includes several national records which Younis had broken. Another high point of his batting career arrived when Younis Khan’s triple century against the visiting Sri Lankan team during ill fated series. Younis Khan 313 runs is also his highest test score.
During the journey Younis becomes Pakistan top run scorer in test cricket with 10,099 runs to his name, Younis Khan test centuries 34 of them are most by a Pakistani batsman in test. He also took most catches by a Pakistani fielder with 139 catches to his name.
International feats like scoring test centuries against all the test playing nations & scoring test in all countries where test cricket got played including master class Younis Khan 218 runs scored against England.
Younis Khan also represented Pakistan in 265 One Day Internationals and scored more than 7000 one day international runs punctuated with 7 centuries and 48 half centuries. Although Younis Khan stats in ODI are not ranked as high as his test numbers but he had his moments during his international career.
The high point of his T20 career was winning ICC T20 World Cup in 2009 as captain and he announced his retirement from shortest format of the game shortly afterwards.
Just like any other super star Younis journey to success was not bed of roses, he had faced difficult times in his career which has helped him in his flight of rising from the dust. Demise of his family members hadn’t hampered his pace during the crunch times. Players revolt against him when he was on peak of his powers & his leadership was transforming Pakistan side into a brutal force.
Younis made his mark with sheer hard work & on his own so he never bowed down against the PCB and other forces which made his relationship with the authorities sour during his career & Younis Khan lost some of his precious time where he can score heavily in fighting against the odds.
Since start of his career Younis was never regarded as a stylish player or a stroke maker who would people love to watch. He was a fighter who hold his fort as hard as anyone can & once set he can hit you anywhere he wants, with strokes ranging from late cut to pull shot. A great exponent of sweep and on his day he can make any spinner to lose his line & length with conventional sweeps & unconventional reverse which he develops in later part of his career & mastered it to perfection.
Younis led Pakistan a World T20 triumph in 2009 when he become only the second Pakistani captain after Imran Khan to lift a world cup. Younis Khan’s leadership skills were always evident & he proved no one wrong during his short stay as Pakistan’s captain. He groomed so many youngsters & earned respect which not many Pakistani players enjoyed in recent past.
With Younis Khan Retirement Pakistan not only lost batsmen infect Pakistan lost a cricketer with great leadership skills even when he is not playing as captain. A coach & mentor for youngsters playing around him. A dependable fielder whom you can trust on.