While there are many factors contributing to his greatness, here are a few that I feel make him a legend of the game.
SWEEP IT LIKE YOUNIS
It’s no surprise that Younis is considered one of the best players of sweep shot in the history of Pakistan Cricket. Whether it is the conventional sweep or the reverse, Younis has mastered the art of playing the sweep shot against the spinners and it was befitting to see him reach the 10,000-run landmark with a sweep shot off Roston Chase. Not that there is any validation required, but AB DeVilliers – one of the greatest modern day batsmen – has mentioned previously how he learned to play the sweep shot by watching Younis Khan; getting really low and sweeping almost like a broom. Kumar Sangakarra, while giving a master class in playing the sweep shot, also mentioned Younis as a pioneer in this regard.
Younis Khan’s conversion rate to 100s is only second to Bradman which speaks volumes of his grit & the ability to play a long innings. His conversion rate of 52% is also the best amongst the batsman who have scored 10,000 runs. It’s also a sign that once he gets his eye in, he hardly ever throws his wicket away.
4th INNINGS SPECIALIST
His numbers in the fourth innings are phenomenal. When the going gets tough, Younis prevails. In difficult conditions, he has managed to score 5 hundreds at a healthy average of 53.85, indicating his ability to absorb pressure and adapt to all conditions.
Double centuries against England, India, Australia and Sri Lanka require supreme fitness levels. Younis has time and again mentioned how he leads a very disciplined life. Not only does he not compromise on his training but also eats healthy – an inspiration for our younger lot!
SAFE PAIR OF HANDS
One of the best slip catchers in the team, whether it’s against the pacers or the spinners, Younis has an excellent catching technique. He always keeps his eye on the ball and his superb agility has helped him in taking 133 catches, most by any Pakistani. Where slip catching has remained a weakness of Pakistan’s historically, Younis has been exemplary in that regard.
Younis will always be considered as the go-to man for the Pakistan team. Over the years, Pakistan has struggled in getting their top order right. Younis has been solid in the middle order and stabilised the sinking ship on countless occasions. One of the best players of spin, Younis has brought consistency in the middle order. Moreover, he has anchored his innings and guided the younger players batting with him; the likes of Azhar Ali and Asad Shafiq have all batted in partnerships with him and learnt from him.
He has never been considered as one to play for the galleries. He has reiterated on several occasions how he plays for the country and the team which makes him a completely selfless player. Always smiling and never fretting, Younis will always be remembered as a legend of the game.