KARACHI: Legendary batsman Younus Khan has urged current national team captain Sarfraz Ahmed to start performing on a personal level, otherwise his spot in the team may come under question.
Younus, whose UBL side won the National One Day Departmental Cup on Sunday, was quick to point out that this is more or less the same group of players that won the Champions Trophy last year and were on a nine-match winning streak going into the New Zealand series.
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Pakistan’s most prolific Test batsman did say that the team is underperforming but felt some leeway must be afforded to them due to the unfamiliar nature of the conditions they are currently playing in. “Pakistani batsmen have almost always found it difficult to play against New Zealand in New Zealand,” he said. “The conditions there are quite different and are arguably even tougher than what you find in England, South Africa or even Australia.”
Younus urged fans and the media to support the players in their time of need. “They should be backed right now rather than being bashed by everyone,” he said. “However, they should be adopting to the conditions better; they can’t just keep using that as an excuse every time they travel anywhere. They will have to work hard on the skills required to flourish on such pitches. Their technique needs to improve, just blaming the conditions after every defeat won’t suffice.”
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The World T20-winning skipper also discussed the performances of skipper Sarfraz, stating that they need to improve. “Sarfraz was instrumental in the Champions Trophy coming to Pakistan but in recent matches his performances have been anything but satisfactory,” said Younus.
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“He needs to concentrate on his own game and improve quickly. As a captain, you have added responsibility since the level of your individual performance may have an impact on the performance of the rest of the team. Sarfraz will have to give himself time and work further on his skill-set and fitness.”
Younus was quick to offer up his own services to the national team if they are required in any way. “I am working with UBL and will always be available for the national team if they want to hire me as their batting coach,” said the veteran.
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