SYDNEY: Only 12 players, all greats of the game, have previously scored 10,000 runs in Tests over a career but Younus Khan does not think becoming the 13th would make him the greatest Pakistani batsman.
“Javed Miandad is there, Zaheer Abbas is there. There are a lot of great players there. Inzamamul Haq is also there,” said Younus. “I don’t feel I will be the greatest batsman ever for Pakistan.”
Younus would instead like to be remembered as a warrior. “When I leave the field and ultimately retire this is my wish. They all remember me like ‘he is a fighter and he played hardest for his country and his teammates’.”
The Mardan-born further said that his disappointment at Pakistan’s perilous position in the third Test has been mitigated by his first century in Australia and proximity to the exclusive 10,000-run club.
The right-hander bucked a run of poor recent form to grit out a magnificent 175 in Pakistan’s first innings, walking off the Sydney Cricket Ground pitch unbeaten after running out of partners.
While his century gave him a full set of hundreds in Test-playing nations, the lack of support from his teammates left him 36 shy of becoming the first Pakistani batsman to score 10,000 Test runs.
But even if Pakistan finished day four of the Test staring a 3-0 series sweep in the face with one wicket down and 410 runs from an unlikely victory, it was not about to spoil his pleasure.
“I love to perform for my country, for my team and whenever my team needs me, it’s a little bit late this time, but I am a proud Pakistani and at least I have made a hundred in Australia,” said the veteran cricketer.
“The previous time I was out for 87 in the 2004 Boxing Day Test so it was my wish that I have one or two centuries and certainly my wish has come true and I am a happy man at the moment.”
With his 42-year-old captain Misbahul Haq expected to call time on his career this year, some have suggested this tour might mark the end of an era with Younus following suit.
Younus, though, said he would want to carry on playing Test cricket even if he was not quite so close to the 10,000 run milestone.
“It all depends on my team and what they want. That’s the main thing for me. It’s not about that I’m near 10,000 runs which will be a big achievement as a Pakistani,” he said.
“If you see that list there is no Pakistani who has achieved 10,000 runs so it all depends on my team and depends on the Pakistan Cricket Board and how they want me.”
Younus sees McGrath in Hazlewood
Younus also commented on Josh Hazlewood, saying the Aussie pacer has the potential to match the metronomic figure of legendary Kangaroos’ fast-bowler Glenn McGrath.
“He’s very young in Test cricket but his body language is fantastic,” he told Grandstand. “He doesn’t give you any easy runs. So I think he will be the next McGrath for the Australian team.”