Monday, May 15, 2017

Younis Khan - Pakistan's Best and Man for all Seasons

There is absolutely no doubt in my mind that Younis Khan is the greatest test batsman produced by Pakistan. Even though less talented than Javed Miandad, Inzamam Ul Haq, and Mohammad Yousuf, Younis Khan showed what sheer hard work, dedication, and determination can produce.

His numbers, which you can see in detail below, speak volumes of his contribution to Pakistan cricket. Beyond the numbers, his support to captains, guidance to younger batsmen, ability to build partnerships, and achievements as a fielder make him one of the best cricketers ever to play the game.

Here is a look at Younis in Numbers...

He could have finished with the best average as well if he did not have an indifferent last test series, but the gap between Younis and the next best in terms of runs (Miandad) and centuries (Inzamam) is quite significant.

Some of his batting feats include:

- The first batsman from Pakistan and 13th in the world to reach 10,000 Test runs.
- One of the four batsmen from Pakistan to score a triple century in Tests.
- One of 8 captains in the world to score a triple century in Tests.

Only 5 batsmen in the world have scored more centuries than Younis Khan in Tests; only 2 of them scored them at a faster rate than Younis; and none of them converted their fifties into centuries better than Younis did.

With a century every 6.26 innings in test cricket, Younis has one of the best century scoring frequency in the history of test cricket.

With the fifth best conversion ratio, Younis is even better at converting his fifties into centuries.
(above tables for batsmen with MIN 5,000 Test runs)

For Pakistan, no one scored more runs or more centuries than Younis Khan did in Test wins. He played in 3 test wins less than Inzamam Ul Haq; however scored 300 more runs and 2 more centuries than the other great match winner Pakistan produced.

Among all batsmen, Younis has the 5th best average in Test wins in the history of the game.

What is even better is Younis Khan's record in Test wins away from home - he is the second highest run scorer in away wins and has a phenomenal average of 94.2 in these wins. And these do not include wins in his home away from home; i.e. the UAE.

Younis Khan has one of the best records in the world for the fourth innings in tests. He is among the only 6 batsmen in the world who average above 50 in the fourth innings; and no one in the history of the game has scored more test centuries in the fourth innings than Younis Khan has.

Younis Khan is the only batsman in the world who has scored Test centuries in 11 countries - in all 10 test playing nations and in the UAE.

It did not matter where he played and who he played against, Younis scored lots of runs.

He averages above 50 in 7 of the 11 countries that he has played Tests in; he averages less than 40 in only 2 of these countries.

He averages above 50 against 5 countries; and not lower than 38 against any opposition.

Younis is the fifth highest run scorer in Tests away from home, and this does not include his test runs scored in the UAE. Needless to say, no one from Pakistan has scored more runs than Younis in foreign conditions.

No one from Pakistan has been involved in more century partnerships as Younis Khan has - 68! 

His 3,213 partnership runs in partnerships with Misbah and his 15 century partnerships with Misbah are both a Pakistan record. Younis features in three out of the top four partnership pairs in the history of Pakistan cricket.

Only 4 pairs in the world have had more century partnerships than Younis and Misbah in the history of the game.

Based on these numbers, there is no doubt that Younis Khan is the greatest batsman to play Test cricket for Pakistan. Beyond these numbers, few will doubt the same. His contribution to Pakistan cricket is invaluable and he will be sorely missed the next time Pakistan's cricketers don their whites.

Personally, I feel Pakistan Test cricket will not be the same without Younis. For 17 years he has enriched the game with his excellence to a level that is quite unmatchable. I remember watching his debut test innings all those years ago. I have watched him reach each one of his 34 test centuries; 5 of them while in the stadium in Dubai / Sharjah. I have watched him take each of his 139 test catches. His retirement leaves a big hole in Pakistan's middle order; and a bigger one in the hearts of Pakistan cricket fans.

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