Younus Khan is still around

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Younus Khan has a stab at smilingFor a man with 21 Test hundreds and an average of over 50 who’s also been involved in his fair share of drama, Younus Khan can be surprisingly low profile. That said, your singy, shouty ‘look at me’ types tend to lack inner steel. Younus is far too busy getting the job done to bother with fripperies like talking or showing any kind of emotion whatsoever.

People often talk about how much they like a certain cricketer ‘because he always plays with a smile on his face’.

No. Wrong.

If you’re supporting a team, it’s actually very reassuring to see that somebody’s taking the job really bloody seriously indeed. We don’t want to see a batsman aiming a wild swish at a wide one and then grinning sheepishly. We want to see him leaving it alone while sporting a face like thunder. Younus Khan delivers in that regard.

He’s also turned a potentially dull South African cakewalk into a Test match and for that he and Asad Shafiq should be thanked. At 33-4, it seemed like a simultaneously spectacular and yawnsome rehash of the first Test, in which Pakistan were bowled out for 49. Instead, we have a cricket match which will hold the interest for a good while yet. Their stand of 219 should also be viewed in light of the fact that when they came together, a repeat humiliation seemed not just likely, but probable.


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  1. Pakistan cricketers ruin the impact of bland KC post titles. No doubt the titles in the vein of “X can bat” or “India have a bad day in the field” and so on are intended sometimes as a telegraph of “this is the subject I’m about to talk about and titles aren’t important, I’ll have a point in a bit”; or else intended to re-state a seemingly obvious point that is sometimes taken for granted. Either way, the point of the title is self-aware, somewhat ironic banality.

    This is lost when talking about Pakistan. I had honestly no idea what Younis Khan’s stance in the side was at this stage. I knew he retired at least once, was sacked as captain once, and missed the tour of England for some reason that might not be connected to either of those things. I knew he’s Pakistan’s best batsman but that’s not going to tell me what he’s actually doing because it’s Pakistan. So a title of “Younis Khan is still around” was actually very informative.

    1. It’s not really about how often he smiles. It’s more about his having an air of determination about him.

    2. from cricinfo : ..Steyn had words, Younis showed him his pearly whites. “This was my tactic, the bowlers were talking and I was just smiling,” he said afterwards.

  2. With all the to-ing and fro-ing of him being in and out of the side, I have no idea how old he actually is. However, his face is starting to resemble the bit of a boat that is always submerged by water, so I am going to stick with “very old”.

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