Babar Azam Has The Desire And Hunger To Score Runs, Says Younis Khan
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Babar Azam Has The Desire And Hunger To Score Runs, Says Younis Khan

Younis Khan, Pakistan’s batting coach has said that other players need to learn from Babar Azam, who is on his way to becoming one of the batting greats.

Babar Azam, the 25-year-old Pakistan ODI, and T20I captain had gained fame with his batting in a short period of his international career.

Younis Khan Photograph:( AFP )
Younis Khan Photograph:( AFP )

Younis Khan: Babar Azam Has The Desire And Hunger To Score Runs

The No.2 ranked ODI batsman, No.6 ranked Test batsman, and No.3 ranked T20I batsman Babar Azam averages around 56 in ODIs and around 44 in Tests, and around 47 in T20Is. Babar Azam has around 10,000 runs in all 3 formats combined.

Talking to the reporters virtually, Younis Khan said: “Babar Azam is one of the top players in the world and he went through a process and got the time he needed to grow as he has been with the team for a good few years now.

“The most important quality that Babar has is the desire and hunger to score runs. We are also seeing his captaincy improve with each outing as his shot selection.

“Being a top international player, there are a lot of expectations from Babar Azam. That’s why he is improving his fitness as well as his technique. Sometimes people say that they see glimpses of us (Younis, Yousaf, and Misbah) in Babar, Fakhar, and Rizwan which feels like an achievement for us,” he added. 

Babar Azam. (Photo by AAMIR QURESHI/AFP via Getty Images)
Babar Azam
(Photo by Aamir QURESHI / AFP) (Photo by AAMIR QURESHI/AFP via Getty Images)

“I feel that Babar’s learning process is amazing but I let me say that when players in my generation came into the national side, we had the examples of Saeed Anwar, Inzamam-ul-Haq, Mohammad Yousuf, Aamir Sohail, Ijaz Ahmed, and Salim Malik in front of us. The players from today miss that kind of exposure to top players but Babar is lucky that he saw players like Mohammad Yousuf, Misbah-ul-Haq, and Younis Khan playing in their prime,” he asserted.

Younis Khan said he doesn’t agree with the way the players are selected for the national team across formats.

“A benchmark needs to be set to pick players for the senior team, particularly batsmen. We need to look at how much cricket experience a player has under his belt before considering him for selection. I am not in favour of picking players based on limited franchise cricket exposure. I agree players must have proper first-class and List A experience behind them before they are considered for selection,” Younis Khan added. 

Babar Azam was reportedly keen on the selection of Ammad Butt, Aamer Yameen, and Iftikhar Ahmad and was unhappy with the axing of Kamran Ghulam and stressed that the inclusion of Shahnawaz Dhani is quite premature. He wanted Imad Wasim in the T20I Squad while spinner Zahid Mehmood was also dro­pped from the T20 Squad despite his fine performance against South Africa in the home series which has irked Babar Azam no end. The skipper was also in favour of Shan Masood’s selection for the Zimbabwe Test series.

Younis Khan Can’t Interfere In Selection As The Final Decision Is With The Head Coach And Captain

To a query regarding repeated chances given to players like Asif Ali, Haider Ali, and others despite their failures, Younis Khan replied that he was just a batting coach and final selection is 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.” 

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

“Overall, the tour was a good learning experience for our players and especially the top order batsmen and bowlers excelled during the tour. But the middle-order batsman didn’t produce good results during the series.

“We are lacking in this area and we have to address this area well before playing the T20 World Cup in India,” Younis concluded.

Kagiso Rabada
Kagiso Rabada. Image Credits: Twitter

The visitors beat a weakened South Africa, who missed several players for being India bound to play IPL 2021, in the third ODI in Centurion to clinch the three-match series 2-1. South Africa fielded a new look T20I team with several key players missing due to IPL commitments and were beaten by Pakistan by 3-1 in the 4 match T20I series.

South Africa made several changes in the deciding ODI as the likes of Anrich Nortje, David Miller, Quinton De Kock, Kagiso Rabada, and Lungi Ngidi didn’t play the last ODI and subsequent T20Is for heading to India to participate in IPL.

Fakhar Zaman was the standout performer scoring 302 runs in 3 ODIs averaging 100.67 while Babar Azam averaged 76 amassing 228 runs. In T20Is, Mohammed Rizwan contributed with 344 runs averaging 86.