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Dravid's advice helped me - Younis Khan

Dravid's advice helped me - Younis Khan
Younis Khan (right) revealed that words of advice from Rahul Dravid (left) helped develop his game in the early stages of his career.
©REUTERS / Action Images

Veteran Pakistan batsman Younis Khan has revealed that words of advice from Rahul Dravid helped develop his game in the early stages of his career.

Only the third Pakistan batsman to score more than 8,000 runs, Younis has been one of the mainstays of the Pakistan batting line-up since his debut in 2000.

Younis has scored 2,609 runs since 2012, while averaging 56.71, with 11 hundreds and four fifties to his name, while he is just 19 runs away from becoming Pakistan’s highest run scorer in Tests.

The 37-year-old hailed Dravid as one of the greats of this era as he acknowledged that the tips given by the former Indian captain were instrumental in furthering his career.  

“The tips and advice I got from Dravid at the early stages of my career helped me develop into a top batsman who was comfortable at the number three position.

“Dravid was a top class professional and one of the greats of the modern era and I learnt from him.” 

Younis, who captained Pakistan for various periods between 2007 and 2009, cited that his inability to unite the team was the reason why he gave up the job.

“When I was made captain in 2009 I had told the then Chairman of the Pakistan Cricket Board Ijaz Butt that if I didn’t deliver I would resign from the captaincy myself.

“I decided to resign as captain when we were in Abu Dhabi playing against New Zealand in late 2009 because I felt I couldn’t deliver as I couldn’t unite the team.” 

It was when Ijaz Butt was the chairman of the Pakistan Cricket Board, that Younis was appointed to take charge of the Twenty20 International team which won the 2009 T20 World Cup.

Younis maintained that Ijaz was a strong chairman who did not hesitate to make tough calls for the team and said: “Ijaz was ready to take hard decisions even with players.

“He supported me a lot as captain and he was the one who made me the captain and we went onto win the World T20 Cup in England in 2009.”

Dwelling on his decision to give up captaincy, Younis now feels that it was a mistake to do so as it was a huge honor to lead one’s country.

“No one is perfect. Everyone makes mistakes. I also made mistakes and one of them was to leave the captaincy.

“But now I realize it is a big honor to lead your country and if I get a chance to lead the team again I will do it.” 

Despite leading his country to a win in the 2009 T20 World Cup, Younis retired from the format, shortly after the series against New Zealand in 2010.

Younis believed that the T20 format was best suited for youngsters.

“I still believe this cricket is for youngsters and you can see that in other cricket nations as well.”

Younis was selected to play for the now banned Rajasthan Royals team in the inaugural edition of the Indian Premier League (IPL), but featured only in one match, something that baffled the 37-year-old.

The move to give him just the one game even after qualifying early for the knockout stages did not go down well with Younis, who added that the atmosphere of the IPL did not suit him.

“Yes, it is true, I was not happy when I got to play just one match for the Rajasthan team in the IPL.

"I don’t know what were the reasons for captain Shane Warne to not play me.

“But I felt offended that even though we had qualified for the knockout stage with a few matches remaining in the league stage they still gave me just one match.

“But to be honest after looking at the environment in the first IPL I don’t think I would have been able to adjust there as well myself.” 

Stating that every cricketer must be treated with equal respect, no matter how many games he has played, Younis said that he has always put the team ahead of himself.

“I have never disrespected anyone in my life. I have always thought about Pakistan first and then myself.

“No captain or coach can say Younis didn’t support them or backed out of a given challenge.

“But I believe that every player, whether he has played 100 tests or one test deserves to be treated with respect.” 

Pakistan’s next assignment will be against England in October in the United Arab Emirates, where they play three Tests, four One-Day Internationals and three T20Is.

© Cricket World 2015