Batting legend Younus Khan’s fighting century on the third day of the Test has brought further accolades and achievements for arguably the greatest Test batsman produced by Pakistan. Younus finally broke his run of poor scores and mediocre form by posting his first century on Australian soil, the 34th of his career and his fourth against the Australians. With a ton in Australia under his belt, Younus has now recorded 100 plus scores on home turfs of all Test playing teams, becoming the first Pakistan batsman to do so.
Younus’s previous best in Australia was the 87 he scored at the Melbourne Cricket Ground (MCG) 12 years ago; he finally broke the jinx of not scoring a century in the country and is now mere 75 runs away from the 10,000-run mark in Test cricket, again uncharted territory for a Pakistani. All these years Younus has been a rock and a model of consistency, his demeanour, attitude, never-say-die spirit and commitment to the cause has earned him rich accolades from cricket pundits and fans all around the world. Younus is the only player to have scored 100s in home turfs of all Test playing nations as well as UAE, where he has hammered no less than 11 centuries after Pakistan was forced to adopt the Emirates as their home turf following the terror attack on the Sri Lankan cricket team seven years ago. He is now at the twilight of a truly illustrious career and has his close circles indicate that he’s likely to quit once he reaches the 10,000-run mark. If he scores the remaining 75 in the ongoing Test we might see him announcing his retirement from international cricket. The Mardan born is an absolute inspiration for Pakistan fans, besides his teammates for the sheer magnitude of his achievements and his role as a mentor for batsmen around him.
Time and again Younus was labelled as too old or ridiculed for his lack of runs and ungainly technique but almost each time the stalwart bounced back with style and gumption. The Sydney knock is a stamp on his legacy and will be remembered for a long time.
Published in The Express Tribune, January 6th, 2017.