Younis Khan recently overhauled Javed Miandad’s aggregate Test runs and became Pakistan’s leading run-getter in Test matches. Khan has been a wall of resistance for Pakistan since the last decade and his contribution to the side has been unparalleled. Being a professional cricketer, Khan has gone through phases of various highs and lows.
In an interview with Dawn, Younis opened up about his career. Below are the excerpts from his interview.
Q. You have 30 Test centuries to your name. Which three would you rate as your best?
I can never forget century I made my debut against Sri Lanka. Though Pakistan failed to win, what was a well-contested match, I scored that ton in a tough situation which made me feel satisfied and introduced me to top level cricket.
Helping Pakistan win after scoring 149 off 182 in the second innings of the Auckland Test in 2001 is an unforgettable experience. I was dismissed in the nervous 90s in the first innings of the same match.
Last but not the least, I think that the 171 I scored in the recent Test series triumph against Sri Lanka in the Pallekele Test is one of my best. Chasing a mammoth total of 350 runs in the fourth innings is always a challenge in Sri Lankan conditions but we fought hard and emerged as victors.
Q. A memorable match which did not end in a Pakistan win?
Scoring a 100 in the longer format of the game is always a good feeling but if a century does not help your team to win the match, it becomes a part of your bad memories. I experienced this situation during the Galle Test in August 2014. I scored 177 in the first innings, but we lost the match which was a big disappointment.
Q. The three bowlers you found most difficult to face?
Muttiah Muralitharan was the bowler I dreaded the most.
Dale Steyn is a very good bowler and I always found it hard to play him well.
Shaun Pollock and Glenn McGrath were two bowlers I also found difficult to play. Though I did not face McGrath much in my career, it wasn’t easy whenever I came up against him.
me the first Pakistani batsman to score 10,000 Test runs and after I retire I would love to see upcoming cricketers become world beaters.
Q. Your favourite cricketing venue?
I always loved playing at the National Stadium, Karachi. I scored my Test triple-hundred there, but I don’t rate this innings as my favourite because it was a high-scoring Test match.
Q. Favourite Test win?
I think the series win against Australia last year is one of the most memorable and I feel very proud of my performances during that tour.
Q. You have a whopping average of 88 against India. Which innings against them would rate as your best?
My 107 in the fourth innings against India at Kolkata in December 2007 helped Pakistan to draw the Test match. Playing Anil Kumble and Harbajhan Singh on the last day was a challenge and facing it successfully will stay in my memory forever.
Pakistan’s victory at Bangalore in 2005 was a delightful experience too. In that match, I scored 267 in the first innings.
Q. Which is your favourite Test innings on home turf?
I scored centuries in both Karachi and Lahore when South Africa toured Pakistan in 2007. Doing well against a strong Proteas bowling attack was a good feeling but Pakistan’s 2-0 loss spoiled the delight.
Q. You always credit Bob Woolmer for shaping your career. What role did he specifically play in your progress as a cricketer?
When I was progressing as a young cricketer and was in my learning stages as a professional, Bob was the one who helped me a lot and made me the player I am today. Now when I have broken a big record I badly miss him and wish he was with us.
I also intensely miss my father at this occasion.
Q. You are being compared to Javed Miandad after surpassing his record. What do you have to say?
When I played under Miandad during his time as the Pakistan coach I learned a lot from him. Technically, Miandad was a complete batsman and it will be unfair to make comparisons between him and me.
Reaching Javed’s caliber is close to impossible. I did break his record, but Javed Miandad was always special and he will remain special forever.
Q. What milestones do you aim to achieve before ending your career?
I really wish to beco