x Abu Dhabi, UAEFriday 21 July 2017

Team SOS for Younus

Pakistan's poor showing with the bat in the Melbourne Test has forced the management to put the experienced hand on stand by for the second Test against Australia.

Pakistan's poor showing with the bat in their first innings of the Melbourne Test against Australia has forced the team management to put Younus Khan on stand by for the second Test. At close of the third day's play yesterday, the hosts had racked up a lead of 307 runs after capitalising on Pakistan's disappointing first-innings score of 258 in reply to Australia's 454 for five declared. The Pakistan selectors have moved quickly to add experience to the top of the order by summoning their former captain, who was not picked for the tour due to his poor form. "Younus has been contacted and there is a chance that [Pakistan captain Mohammed] Yousuf has also contacted him directly," said a Pakistan official yesterday.

"He has said that he is fit and ready to go, but will stand by whatever process the selectors put in place for his return." Yousuf has also expressed his desire to have Younus back in the squad for the one-day internationals next month. "I would definitely like to see Younus back in the team as soon as possible because he is a very experienced batsman and the team is missing him," he said. But his return could be fast-tracked if Pakistan flop in the fourth innings here. A likely defeat would enhance the likelihood of the 32-year-old batsman - who has 5,260 runs from 63 matches - being selected for the Test in Sydney which starts on January 3. Pakistan's middle-order batsman Misbah-ul-Haq, who top-scored with 65, admitted the tourists should be doing better.

"I think we should have scored more than this," he said. "We have to be positive now and go for it." If Pakistan can get their batting unit to fire then it bodes well as they look to have unearthed an exciting young bowling attack. On a docile wicket ideally suited to batting, Australia were reduced to 40 for three in their second innings yesterday against some fine new-ball bowling. Mohammad Asif had Simon Katich (two) caught behind in the seventh over and then Mohammed Aamer utilised the new ball to devastating effect to claim the wickets of Ricky Ponting (12) and Mike Hussey (four) in successive overs.

Buoyed by his early scalps, the teenaged Aamer unleashed a torrent of lightning-quick deliveries at Shane Watson, including one in the 12th over that slammed into the opener's shoulder, sending him flying to the ground. With Watson stricken, Aamer blew kisses at him, as the baiting did not go unnoticed on the hosts' balcony. "It's good for the crowds, it's good for the game," said Bollinger. "It's good for a bit of fire and flair to come out. He [Aamer] bowls fast and fast bowlers are meant to be angry and have a bit to say. But Watto batted well and stepped up. I think it's the old opening bowler-opening batter situation." However, Australia recovered well and will resume this morning on 11 for three, with Watson unbeaten on 64 and closing in on his first Test century. emegson@thenational.ae Australia v Pakistan, Day Four, 3.30am start, Showsports 2

Australia (first innings): 434-5 decl. Pakistan (first innings, overnight 190-4): Salman Butt lbw b Johnson 9 Imran Farhat lbw b Watson 45 Faisal Iqbal c Clarke b Hauritz 15 Mohammad Yousuf c Haddin b Siddle 22 Umar Akmal c Ponting b Johnson 51 Mohammad Aamer c North b Bollinger 15 Misbah-ul-Haq batting 65 Kamran Akmal c Haddin b Bollinger 12 Abdur Rauf c North b Bollinger 3 Mohammad Asif c Watson b Siddle 0 Saeed Ajmal b Johnson 4 Extras (1w, 9nb, 3lb, 4b) 17 Total: (99 overs) 258 Fall of wickets: 1-26(Farhat), 2-59 (Iqbal), 3-84 (Butt), 4-109 (Yousuf), 5-159 (U Akmal), 6-203 (Aamer, 80.3 ov), 7-215 (K Akmal), 8-219 (Rauf), 9-220 (Asif), 10-258 (Ajmal) Bowling: Bollinger 20-6-50-3 Siddle 24-7-77-2 Hauritz 20-3-58-1 Johnson 22-10-36-3 Watson 13-3-30-1 Australia (second innings): Shane Watson batting 64 Simon Katich c K Akmal b Asif 2 Ricky Ponting c Butt b Aamer 12 Michael Hussey lbw b Aamer 4 Michael Clarke batting 21 Extras (7nb, 1lb) 8 Total: (34 overs, 3 wickets) 111 Fall of wickets: 1-15 (Katich), 2-32 (Ponting), 3-40 (Hussey) Bowling: Mohammad Asif 9-2-16-1 Mohammad Aamer 11-3-43-2 Saeed Ajmal 9-0-32-0 Abdur Rauf 5-0-19-0