Monday Aug 31, 2020
Batting coach Younis Khan has come out in defence of Pakistan's assortment of ageing batsmen such as Mohammad Hafeez and Asad Shafiq, saying that there is no reason to drop someone just because of their age.
Shafiq, 34, endured a horror Test series against England, scoring a mere 67 runs across five innings and three matches. Hafeez's retention in the side has also been criticised as he's set to turn 40 next month, although he shut his critics on Sunday with a brilliant 69 that went in vain.
Younis, who himself played on until the age of 39, says performances and not advancing years should be the sole criteria for selection.
"If Hafeez keeps on playing like he did yesterday or does even better, demonstrates his form and fitness, then why should he be dumped?" Younis said in an online press conference today.
"We often sideline players just on the basis of their age. The team should have a combination of juniors and seniors. But since now that we've lost, our lack of experience is being blamed," he said as he accused critics of changing goal posts.
Younis also threw his weight behind Shafiq, who failed miserably in the Test series.
"A player such as Asad Shafiq should not be cut off. We should instead try and lift our experienced players," he said.
We are working with Asad on his weak areas but during tours you can only tweak strategy. Strengthening technical areas require [more] time.
The batting coach, who got the job prior to the England tour and, as of now, just for that tour, claimed credit for skipper Azhar finding form in the final Test.
"It is very important to show players where they are making mistakes. We spotted Azhar Ali's weakness by watching his videos. I worked on his top hand, which is why his bat [got space needed to connect]. It wasn't a massive technical change. We just worked on his hands," Younis explained.
He also reserved special praise for wicketkeeper-batsman Mohammad Rizwan, saying: "After a long time I have seen a wicketkeeper-batsman play so well in England."