Younis finally makes his mark

Updated on Mar 26, 2005 06:01 PM IST

Younis Khan has seen more downs than ups in international cricket. However, the 27-year-old has now finally cemented his place in the team.

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PTI | ByKunal Pradhan (Reuters), Bangalore

Younis Khan, the unlikely hero of Pakistan's Test series in India, has seen more downs than ups in international cricket.

However, the 27-year-old has now finally cemented his place in the team after his inspired career-best 267 in the third Test on Friday came on the back of a brilliant 147 in Kolkata.

It was Younis's eighth Test century in 35 matches, the highest score by a foreign batsman in India and the sixth best by a Pakistani in history.

His marathon 11-1/2 hour knock helped his team score a mammoth 570 in their first innings and Younis believes Pakistan should win from here.

"We must go for victory, capitalising on the cracks on the wicket that could be very helpful to our spinners," Younis said.

The team cause notwithstanding, the innings was a big personal landmark for a man who started with a century on debut against Sri Lanka in 1999 but has always been under pressure to prove himself.

"I never worry about my failures, try not to take any extra pressure," he said. "Even when I'm dropped, I play my natural game. I never think my cricket will end."

One of the few batsmen who retained his place in the team after Pakistan's disastrous World Cup campaign in 2003, Younis lost it soon after due to a poor run in the home series against Bangladesh and South Africa that year.

He came back into the side for the one-day series against India, but failed to consolidate a permament place in the Test side.

When he finally did start getting into his batting groove in Australia this year with a fighting 87 at Melbourne, there was team and personal disaster in store.

RETURN HOME

Pakistan were routed 3-0 in the Test series and Younis had to return home from the one-dayers because his father died.

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