• Tuesday, December 06, 2022


We need to have a benchmark for selecting players for national team: Younis Khan

Pakistan batting coach Younis Khan (Photo by Gareth Copley/Getty Images)

By: Sarwar Alam

Pakistan’s batting coach Younis Khan on Saturday said he is not in agreement with the way players are selected for the national team across formats.

Speaking at a virtual press conference, the former Pakistan captain made it clear that a benchmark needs to be set to pick players for the senior team, particularly batsmen.

“Yes we need to have a benchmark. We need to look at how much cricket experience a player has under his belt before considering him for selection. How much responsibility he is willing to take and whether he is a performing player,” Younis said.

“I am not in favour of picking players based on limited franchise cricket exposure,” he added when asked if picking young players with little domestic experience was counterproductive for Pakistan cricket.

“I agree players must have proper first-class and List A experience behind them before they are considered for selection. You need to see how capable a player is of adjusting to international standards and cricket when he is selected for Pakistan.”

The former batsman, who is Pakistan’s highest run-getter in Tests with most centuries, said that at times selection of players was made because of pressure created by the media, ex-players and analysts on their Youtube channels.

“Yes it happens, pressure is built to select a raw player on these media platforms and YouTube channels and expectations are high from that player so when he fails he can’t handle.”

Younis reminded that in the past Pakistan produced quality batsmen because they came through a proper system of first class and List A matches.

“You can’t expect to find a Javed Miandad, Saeed Anwar, Mohammad Yousuf or Younis Khan until we set a benchmark for selection of batsmen.”

Younis also conceded that with some tough cricket coming up, including the World T20 in India, Pakistan needed to sort out its problems in the middle and lower-order batting.

However, he praised top-order players like Mohammad Rizwan, Babar Azam and Fakhar Zaman for getting big scores and taking responsibility in recent times.

Younis said that other players needed to learn from Babar, who, he felt, is on his way to becoming one of the batting greats.

“Babar has really worked hard on his fitness and technique and he is so aware of the expectations of not only Pakistani people but the cricket world has from him. He wants to be among the runs consistently and he is hungry for success.”

When asked about the repeated chances given to players like Asif Ai, Haider Ali and others despite their failures, Younis pointed out that he was just a batting coach and final selection was the domain of the head coach and captain.

“I can’t interfere. I can only give recommendations and feedback to them and the final decision is with the head coach and captain. We are trying to find the right combination in batting. So that we get performing batsmen in all formats.”

Younis said the South African tour, where Pakistan won both the ODI and T20 series, has been a good learning experience for the players.

Younis said the coming months would throw up tough cricket for Pakistan with the T20 World Cup in India.

“We are lacking in this area. We have to address this area.”

Eastern Eye

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