Zimbabwe tour a big chance for youngsters to impress, says Younis Khan

From our correspondent

LAHORE: Knowing well that lot of improvement is needed in various batting zones of the team Younis Khan, Pakistan’s batting coach, has said that Zimbabwe tour is a perfect stage for all those youngsters who are struggling to cement their places in the country’s elite brigade.

“I think youngsters like Haider Ali, Danish Aziz and even Asif Ali need time to settle. Zimbabwe tour is a perfect chance for them to express themselves,” Younis told a virtual news conference ahead of Pakistan team departure for Zimbabwe from South Africa on Saturday.

Pakistan will play three T20I and two Test matches in Zimbabwe, a tour where Pakistan is expected to also test its bench.

Younis said Haider is learning to adjust himself in the role which he has been given. “Haider is a talented player and he is making effort to adjust himself in the role he has been given. Initially he used to open and in the PSL he was put down the order where he showed some amazing success and here in South Africa too he was tested in the same zone. He is a talented cricketer and needs time. He realises and says that he is trying to bring improvement in his techniques,” Younis said.

Younis was happy that Pakistan sealed a series win after around seven years in South Africa.

“Winning away is always a good one as we have last won a series here six to seven years ago. Our batting upfront showed good performance and we saw some big innings which I usually want my players to manage. Fakhar did well and so did Rizwan and Babar was amazing. The trio are developing as batsmen who can serve Pakistan for long time. A good short selection was seen in the series. I want my batsmen to play with the full face and hit strokes towards both sides of the pitch,” Younis said.

“Babar hit century in T20 and it was general notion that he stops after reaching a certain stage of his innings. He was really amazing,” said Younis, also a former Pakistan captain.

“Yes there were issues in the middle and lower middle order. Our middle order was also not properly tested because upfront our batsmen played big innings. Hafeez, a senior campaigner, also could not get more time to express himself,” Younis said.

He said that he personally advocates that those players should be inducted in the side who have the experience of first-class and List A cricket.

“In our age we used to learn in Grade-2 cricket. I am not a selector but personally I feel that it would not be good to pick a player on the basis of PSL performance without having experience of playing first-class cricket and List A cricket. Sometimes when a player clicks in the PSL, media and social media start commenting that he is ready and should be picked and so selectors are forced to pick,” Younis said.

He said that players also should play their role and should have thirst for learning and improving their skills. He lauded Babar Azam for his tendency to learn and improve his game. “Babar is a good learner. He wants to learn and has brought a lot of improvement in his game,” Younis said.

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