Younis exudes confidence

Younis Khan had gone four innings without an ODI half-century since his 52 against India in Dhaka during last year’s Asia Cup.

The veteran batsman ended the lean patch with a well-paced 58 against India again, helping Pakistan to a six-wicket win in Chennai in the opening one-dayer on Sunday.

The right-hander hopes to continue the run in the second one-dayer here on Thursday, a lucky venue for his team. “I have a good record on this pitch and I hope I can play a knock that helps Pakistan win,” said Younis on Tuesday after a practice session. Pakistan have won all three one-dayers played at the Eden Gardens.

The 35-year-old was all praise for the youngsters in the side. “When youngsters come into the team, they try to perform well. Especially when it’s between India and Pakistan, the youngsters try their best to make a name for themselves. If you see, the young guns from both the sides are trying their best,” he remarked.

The middle-order batsman felt Junaid Khan has the ability to be another Wasim Akram. The left-arm seamer, rattled the Indian top-order in the first ODI with a four-wicket haul that set the base for a Pakistan win.

“The way he is performing and if he performs consistently the same way, it will be really great. If he keeps going the way he is, we might get a left-arm fast bowler like Wasim Akram. That’s a good sign for Pakistan.”

Younis said he is also doubling up as a mentor to youngsters in the side. “I try to share everything I know with the youngsters. Good teams are those that care both in good and bad times. I always try and put my best foot forward so that I can tell them this is how we should play.”

The former Pakistan skipper also had a word of praise for ODI skipper Misbah-ul-Haq. “We have no pressure at all in the dressing room. The captain encourages everyone to play well and isn’t too demanding. He is giving confidence to everyone,” he noted.

Indian team, meanwhile, cancelled its scheduled optional practice session while all the players, who had been allowed to spend the New-Year eve with their families, were expected to arrive by Tuesday night.

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