Younis Khan on Wednesday became the fifth Pakistani and 81st batsman overall to score 1000 runs in Tests against Australia.
The veteran, who is also Pakistan’s highest run-getter in Test cricket, reached the feat during his unbeaten knock of 64 on the second day of the third Test at Sydney.
Javed Miandad (1797 in 40 innings of 25 Tests) has the highest aggregate while Zaheer Abbas (1411 runs in 34 innings of 20 Tests), Saleem Malik (1106 runs in 26 innings of 15 Tests) and Ijaz Ahmed (1085 runs in 25 innings of 14 Tests) are the other Pakistani cricketers in the list.
Younis Khan made his debut in 2000 and has been part of Pakistan’s rich history over the years, including leading them to the 2009 World T20 trophy. With a Test average of above 50, a triple hundred against Sri Lanka and double hundreds against Australia, Bangladesh, England, India and Zimbabwe, he has been Pakistan’s savior on more occasions than one.
Unlike a host of players who called it a day at his age, he has developed his game and gone better. He has been the backbone of the Pakistan batting line-up alongside captain Misbah ul-Haq with whom he also shares the maximum number of century stands in Tests. Besides, Younis features in the list of maximum runs in partnerships for Pakistan — the highest with Misbah followed by another with Mohammad Yousuf.
For a long time, the debate regarding Pakistan’s greatest batsman belonged to two legends — Hanif Mohammad and Javed Miandad. The debate expanded to four names with the arrival of Mohammad Yousuf and Inzamam ul-Haq. But Younis has just gone a notch better. He has 33 Test centuries, eight more than the retired Inzamam ul-Haq, and when play resumes on Day three, Younis might actually match Gavaskar’s feat. Of his 33 centuries, he has hit 17 since January 2010 — an example of how his game has ripened over the years as the legend of Younis Khan grew with time. His last double hundred came against England in August 2016, quashing every criticism and call for the veteran to call it a day.
At 39, he certainly is in the same league as that of Hanif Mohammad, Inzamam ul-Haq, Mohammad Yousuf and Javed Miandad, but by the time he retires, he might actually surpass the stature of them all.