KARACHI: The knives are being sharpened for the out-of-form Younus Khan whose poor show with the bat, in the middle of a poor batting display by the national side, stands out like a sore thumb.
However, former captain Zaheer Abbas has backed the seasoned middle-order batsman, saying that Younus should be given more time in order to prove that he’s still worthy of a place in the playing-eleven. Younus has scored just two half-centuries in his last 16 One-Day International (ODI) innings with his last century coming against the West Indies in November 2008.
According to reports, the Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB), owing to Younus’ poor form, was also mulling over the option of restricting him to just Test matches. But Zaheer said Younus should be supported during this rough period.
“Lean patches come in every player’s career,” said Abbas. “He’s a senior player and the team needs him. You just have to see his consistency in the past. And it’s not like our youngsters are outstanding so there’s no point in getting rid of him.”
Abbas, meanwhile, felt that Pakistan were far from being a professional side and needs improvement.
“We need to go up a gear in all departments, especially batting and bowling. Foreign coaches haven’t brought professionalism to the side in the past but Whatmore’s an experienced coach and players will definitely gain a lot from him. You need to give him time too instead of expecting miracles in three months.”
Zaheer, while questioning the need to remove Misbahul Haq as the Twenty20 captain, called for Mohammad Hafeez to be given ample time to prove his mettle at the helm, especially with the 2012 World Twenty20 so close.
“I wonder why Misbah was removed as the Twenty20 captain with the event so close. However, the PCB must have had a reason. But now that Hafeez is in, he should be given confidence and retained for a longer period.”
Published in The Express Tribune, June 15th, 2012.
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