x Abu Dhabi, UAETuesday 23 January 2018

Younis Khan dejected at being rejected for ODIs

Pakistan batsman still fit at 35 and believes he can still contribute to limited-overs team.

Younis Khan cannot understand why he is being ignored from limited-overs cricket while the likes of Misbah-ul-Haq is in the team despite being into his 30s. Jeff Topping / The National
Younis Khan cannot understand why he is being ignored from limited-overs cricket while the likes of Misbah-ul-Haq is in the team despite being into his 30s. Jeff Topping / The National

DUBAI // Younis Khan, the Pakistan batsman, was surprised after selectors dropped him for the five-match one-day series against South Africa.

Younis, 35, said he is fitter than he was at 24 and is not happy about being left off the team for the 50-over format of the game.

“It was shocking news for me,” Younis said on Monday.

The middle-order batsman is a veteran of ODIs and has scored 7,014 runs, but was also ignored for the last series against Zimbabwe. He retired from the shortest format of cricket in 2009 after leading Pakistan to victory at the World Twenty20 in England.

“These kinds of things have not happened to me for the first time,” Younis said. “I am happy that someone has replaced me and if he performs ... I will be the first happy person.”

Younis said age had never been on his mind and said there were other former captains, such as Imran Khan, and present captain Misbah-ul-Haq, who performed despite being on the wrong side of 30.

“The day I feel I can’t play, I will be an honest man to leave, but not like this to get dropped,” Younis said. “People feel that I don’t want to play ... but it’s not like that. I will leave with a bang, and Inshallah, on a top level.”

Younis could score only one in Pakistan’s healthy total of 442 in the first innings of the first Test last week as Pakistan went 1-0 up with a seven-wicket victory over South Africa.

He was together with Misbah, who hit a winning six in a short run-chase of 40, in the second innings after South Africa had reduced Pakistan to seven for three.

Younis said he was reminding his teammates how the Proteas hammered them 3-0 in the Test series in February and the conditions were ideal for them to make amends for the big loss.

“Our plan is very simple, play positive cricket and if they do mistakes we will grab those mistakes,” Younis said.

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