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Saturday, February 4, 2012

The man of crises, the superman of Pakistan team - Younis Khan

After getting bundled out in the first innings for a paltry 99, Pakistan bounced back in the second with a commanding 180-run lead. The chief architect of this act Younis Khan, came into this game amid heavy scrutiny as he had failed to make a compelling impact on the series thus far.

Walking in with Pakistan hanging by the thread at 28 for 2, he got off the mark with an inside edge down to backward square. The enormity of the challenge he faced could be judged by the fact that it had been raining wickets since Day 1.

These were testing times for Pakistan. While all were busy making assumptions and predictions of a meagre total, Younis and Azhar silently resolved to take advantage of a pitch that was flattening out and take Pakistan to a secure position heading into Day 3.

It took Younis 20 balls to stroke his first boundary, an elegant straight drive presenting full face of the bat off Stuart Broad. Along with Azhar Ali, he showed true grit and determination in crafting an astounding revival in this innings.

Throughout his innings, he rarely gave the bowlers or DRS a chance to dislodge him. Younis presented the perfect technique of extricating yourself from frailties of the DRS system. Confidence was oozing from his stroke play as he punished anything short or wide from the bowlers. Younis was particularly good against spin bowlers, making use of his favorite sweep shot astutely.

Stauss’s applause for Younis Khan and Azhar Ali, as they marched off the ground clearly indicated a day bossed by the king who registered 20th century under his belt with a strike rate of 58.97 in this innings.

In a broader perspective, Younis’s innings may well make Pakistan the first team since 1907, to win a test after being bundled out for less than a 100 runs in the first innings of a Test match. For now though, in a series which has failed to enchant the batsmen Younis Khan along with Azhar Ali has played a pivotal role in ascertaining Pakistan’s dominance over England.

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