Why Younis Khan is king

Published: February 6, 2012

It is unfortunate that in a Test career spanning 12 years, Younis has played only 76 Test matches. PHOTO: AFP

The Pakistan – England Test series finally witnessed a century, and it came from none other than the most reliable batsmen out there – Younis Khan.

I had been waiting for a Younis Khan century throughout the series and last week, he made it happen. Younis’ performance was most satisfying because I had been anticipating it for some time and to top it off, I was at the Dubai International Cricket Stadium to witness it.

I don’t remember a Test series that Pakistan has played that has not involved a match-winning or match-saving century by Younis. Calls to drop Younis from the Test squad prior to the series are almost unbelievable! Younis and Azhar Ali have all but batted England out of the game. The lead that Pakistan have right now is more than enough to give Pakistan the whitewash that they have been dreaming of. Think about it; out of the five England innings in this series so far, they have crossed 200 only once. I have serious doubts that they will do it again.

Take a look at what Younis has done in Tests for Pakistan over the last five to six years:

I could go all the way back to the start of his career, when Younis cracked a debut Test century against Sri Lanka, but this table ends at England’s tour of Pakistan at the end of 2005. This ‘home’ series against England brings the whole analysis full circle while also putting things in perspective with regards to the last time Younis failed in a Test series.

He hasn’t played as much as Sachin, Kallis, Dravid, or Ponting but he is right at the top of the pile in terms of batting average for Tests played since November 2005. Imagine what his numbers would look like if Pakistan played as much Test cricket as India, Australia, and South Africa  – or if he wasn’t out of the team for almost 18 months due to an ego clash with Ijaz Butt!

It is no surprise to me then that Michael Atherton said what he did after the end of play:

He (Younis) is one of the giants of the game. You talk about Sachin, Ponting, Kallis and Dravid. He (Younis) averages over 50 with a triple 100 and couple of double 100’s, He is right up there with them.

It is unfortunate that in a Test career spanning 12 years, Younis has played only 76 Test matches. If you take a look at where these batting greats stood after their first 76 test matches, the statistics paint a startling picture.

Can anyone now claim that Younis is not one of the best batsmen out there?

At this stage of his career, no one besides Rahul Dravid had more runs than Younis. There is a big difference between the averages of Younis and the rest, however after 76 tests Ponting had the same number of Test centuries as Younis has now, with only Sachin ahead of the pack.

It is tragic that we will never know what Younis Khan could have achieved had he played as much as Sachin, Dravid, Ponting, and Kallis.

I salute the true King Khan – Younis Khan!

This post was originally published here.


Umair Qazi

An investment advisor in Dubai who blogs at www.wellpitched.com/ and tweets @WellPitched

The views expressed by the writer and the reader comments do not necessarily reflect the views and policies of The Express Tribune.

  • Dr. Amyn Malik

    I agree. Younis is currently the backbone of Pakistan batting line-up around which others build their innings.

    I just have one contention. You say

    *I don’t remember a Test series that Pakistan has played that has not involved a match-winning or match-saving century by Younis. *

    But, the table you post shows several series where he didn’t score a century!Recommend

  • Farhan

    Younis Khan is a good player of slow wickets….Recommend

  • http://707monty.blogspot.com Ambreen

    Younis khan u teach the english how to play spinnersRecommend

  • wasim saqib


    Thanks for such a wonderful article, I think it is about time that we start appreciating our heroes.
    Younis really has been a great servant of Pakistan cricket and no doubt he would have been at the top in terms of runs had he played as many tests as Sachin and Dravid.Recommend

  • Adnan

    I’m a big fan of Younus Khan, a true champion and our hero. My salute to him and I thank you for writing this blog.Recommend

  • http://awgilani.wordpress.com Syed Abdul Wahab Gilani

    Younis is Great. @Author do see his overseas-stats he is marvelous abroad than homeRecommend

  • Ali

    Great…ppl will defend anyone after a century….1 century after 5 test series and your back in the team for a year.

    Plzzz have some shame and let Mohammad Yousuf play as well…He is by far the most stylish player currently.Recommend

  • Yasir Mehmood

    younis should retire from odis and give asad shafiq the chance to mature. younis fails in big matches ICC t20 finals 2007 and mohali 2011 to just to name a few.Recommend

  • Mustafa Moiz

    Mohammad YousufRecommend

  • Javed Iqbal

    well done, keep it up, “Bad-e-Mukhalif tu hoti hai tujhay ooncha uranay ka lia”, there is not 2nd opinion he is one the best player in the world right now, God bless him.Recommend

  • http://blogs.tribune.com.pk/author/249/ahmad-fuad/ Ahmad Fuad

    Good Job Umair… Excellent Analysis… :-)Recommend

  • Umar Shafiq

    Excellent statistical analysis by yourselves. Surely Younis is a highly under-rated player of world class calibre!Recommend

  • Asif ilyas khattak

    Younis khan is good.He done great job in most serious but sorry to say he is totally failed in most important matches.Recommend

  • http://www.facebook.com/talentidols sanaahamed

    Yes Younis Khan is a great player.Recommend

  • waqas

    He is a good human being as well :)) from a resident of his town gulshan hadeed karachiRecommend

  • Omer Faheem

    Great Article and he is the back bone of Pakistan batting at this point. The true test of a real batsmen is how he performs under pressure and younis’s average is the best when it comes to performance in the 3rd and 4th innings of a test match- where it matters the most.

    A true legend….. keep on pilling runs younis….Recommend

  • http://google.com gul. Bad shah

    younis khan is a best player in the world. I want he always avable in the pakistanh team.Recommend

  • Zulfiqar Ali

    @Dr. Amyn Malik: AOA sir G just check this out u will find your Answer:

  • akbar khan

    younis khan was the best captan after imran khan (salam to younis khan)Recommend

  • akbar khan

    we want younis khan as a captan in 2015 world cupRecommend