Former Pakistan captain and legendary batsman Mohammad Yousuf has turned 47 today. The right-hander was born on 27 August 1974 in Lahore, Pakistan. He was the backbone of the Pakistan batting order from 1998 to 2010. One of the most technically correct batsmen of his time, Yousuf was a prolific run-scorer in both Tests and ODIs. He had converted from Christianity to Islam in 2005 and changed his name to Mohammad Yousuf from Yousuf Youhana.
Yousuf scored 7530 runs in 90 Tests for Pakistan at an average of over 52 and this included 24 centuries. Also, he scored 9720 runs in 288 ODIs and peeled off 15 centuries in the process. His average in ODIs was 42, which is a testament to his consistency.
Scored 1788 runs in 2006
The right-hander reached the peak of his prowess in 2006, as during this year he scored 1788 runs in 11 Test matches. This was the most runs scored by a cricketer in Test matches in a calendar year. In the 11 Tests, he notched up nine centuries and three half-centuries – a feat that has not been matched yet. His average in the year was 99. He also equalled Don Bradman when he raised 6 consecutive centuries.
In an interview to Wisden, Yousuf said that he was not forced by any teammate to change his religion. However, he did mention that he was close friends with Saeed Anwar and he spent a lot of time at his place where he witnessed the discipline with which his family lived and how peaceful Anwar himself was.
“Anwar became more religious after the death of his daughter. Seeing him also inspired me to accept Islam,” Yousuf said in the interview.
Great record against India
Yousuf reserved his best for India – in 15 Test matches, he scored 1247 runs against India at an average of 50. He scored four centuries and six half-centuries in 27 innings. In ODIs, he scored 1430 runs at an average of 39 and it includes one century and 14 half-centuries.