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Younis Khan keeps his defence up against Pakistan board

Reuters | Updated: October 27, 2014, 11:33 AM IST
Younis Khan keeps his defence up against Pakistan board

Senior Pakistan batsman Younis Khan, who capped a memorable Test against Australia in Dubai with hundreds in both innings, said he had thought of skipping the two-match series after being dropped from the 50-over squad.

The former captain, who will turn 37 next month, had criticised the selectors and the Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) after being dropped for the ODI series against Australia.

And on Sunday he refused to give credit to the board or the selectors and only thanked Zimbabwean Grant Flower, the team's batting coach, and trainer Grant Ludan for his stellar performance.

"Yes I thought about skipping the Test series because I was not in proper frame of mind and struggling. And we are playing against a top side like Australia," Younis said after Pakistan's 221-run win.

"But my friends, supporters and the media... I thank them for convincing me to play.

"I am just happy that my performance helped the team win because we needed this win for a while now."

Sunday's win was Pakistan's first over Australia in Tests since 2010 and they have not won a Test series against Australia since 1994.

Younis, who became Pakistan's leading Test century maker with 26 hundreds, last month slammed the selectors and board for not showing senior players enough respect.

He had also offered to step down from the Test side but the PCB avoided taking any disciplinary action against him despite confirming that Younis had violated code of conduct for players.

On Sunday, Younis avoided mentioning the names of team manager Moin Khan, also the chief selector, and head coach Waqar Younis or the PCB at the post-match presentation ceremony.

Host Ramiz Raja, a former Pakistan captain, urged him to give credit to the board for selecting him but Younis was in no mood to be generous.

"I give lot of credit to Grant Ludon and Grant Flower who worked hard with me before this Test to get me ready for the match psychologically and mentally," Younis said.

"Grant Flower spent a lot of time with me in the nets and mentally he prepared me for a bruising time against a top class Australian attack.

"Even though I was hit a couple of times on the body I was expecting this and managed to stay firm."

Pakistan captain Misbah-ul-Haq was also under pressure because of his poor form but came good in the Test with a 69 in the first innings.

The 40-year-old had opted to sit out of the third ODI against Australia because of his lack of runs and there were calls to sack him before next year's World Cup.

"I think such a performance was just round the corner. Now we have a very good chance of becoming the first Pakistani side to win a Test series against Australia in a long time and we will not let up in the second Test in Abu Dhabi," said Misbah.

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First Published: October 27, 2014, 11:33 AM IST

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