x Abu Dhabi, UAEWednesday 17 January 2018

Younus under fire from unhappy fans

The captain wonders if his side are able to handle the pressure in tight situations.

Younus Khan's duties in the United Arab Emirates ended amid a torrent of jeers from Pakistan's fans after their fate was sealed at the Zayed Stadium on Monday night. It was an ignominious sight for the man who led Pakistan to a global crown at the World Twenty20 just over four months ago, before retiring from the shortest format of the game, but he remained the epitome of calmness.

"It doesn't hurt. These things happen in our country. When you win you are a hero, when you lose you are nothing. We are used to it," he said. Younus may retain grace under pressure in the face of the public's scrutiny, but for once he failed to repeat the trick on the field. His side's demise in the deciding match could be traced to two successive balls he faced. First he took a kamikaze single to Martin Guptill at cover and ran out his partner Salman Butt.

It was the second time in two outings that Butt had been sawn off by his batting partner. Mohammed Yousuf, the perpetrator the first time, paid for it by being dropped. Then, before Younus could remedy his own faux pas, he was on his way back to the pavilion after scoring just three runs and the rot had set in for good despite Mohammed Aamer's late salvo. The captain remains at a loss to explain why his side contrive to lose games they should have won at a canter.

"I am getting 100 per cent effort from my players, but I just don't know what is happening when we are under pressure," added Younus, who now hands over the captaincy reins to the all-rounder Shahid Afridi for the two Twenty20 internationals in Dubai on November 12 and 13. "Every game we have run outs, or dropped catches, or misfields. I am happy with my team's performance, but we need to do something about what is going wrong when we are under pressure."