Middle order November 23, 2006

The nervous 190s: a nice problem to have

When Mohammad Yousuf grew his beard he also grew in stature
100

When Mohammad Yousuf grew his beard he also grew in stature. His stunning performance this year places him second only to Vivian Richards, a batsman so great that it seems indecent that anybody might surpass him. Another 149 runs at Karachi and Yousuf will nudge ahead of King Viv's record of 1710 runs in a calendar year.

Before any of you point out that more Test cricket is played these days, Viv set his record in 19 innings, Yousuf is on 17. Whether or not Yousuf's transformation from a gifted wastrel into a grafting wonder is anything to do with his religious conversion is a moot point and something that it will never be possible to prove convincingly. But it is clear that Yousuf has become a phenomenon.

With Inzamam's dip in form in Test cricket, Yousuf has emerged as a serene and silky leader of Pakistan's middle order. His batting has acquired a surreal quality whereby his calm state of mind dominates proceedings. Yousuf's touch and timing is such that his bat caresses and kisses the ball to the boundary, a sharp contrast to the wonderful brutality of Viv Richards.

No doubt Yousuf's zen-like performance in 2006 has won him a seat at the high table of Pakistan cricket. For much of his career he was dismissed as a flat-track bully and a man who would shrink to the occasion. But the last two years have seen Yousuf firm up his resolve and thrive under pressure. Multan may have been as flat as a paratha but it was a pressure cooker situation. On a final day when Pakistan are prone to disaster, Yousuf summoned up his will and fought a mental battle to guide his team to safety. The technical battle has rarely been a problem for him.

Yet one doubt hangs over Yousuf, just as it does over his fellow troopers in Pakistan's middle order. To raise themselves to the level of true world masters, Yousuf, Inzamam, and Younis Khan must show their class on pitches that don't favour batsmen, on pitches that spit and bounce, and against balls that swing and seam. Such a test is fast approaching in South Africa. Let's hope the final judgment is a favourable one.

In the meantime, it is fair to celebrate Yousuf's achievements of 2006, a stunning performance by a batsman of such grace and poise that he seems unfit for this age of biff and bang. Of all the mishaps in the world, a spot of bother in the nervous 190s is a nice problem to make your own.

Kamran Abbasi is an editor, writer and broadcaster. He tweets here

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • Kaley on January 27, 2012, 3:11 GMT

    I didn't know where to find this info then kaoobm it was here.

  • Geoff on December 1, 2006, 0:27 GMT

    A stunning performance from a player respected the world over. Does Pakistan have any more tests in 2006 so that he can extend this record?

  • A.R.Zaidi on November 27, 2006, 18:23 GMT

    And he has done again at Karachi, 22nd century and only 46 runs away from Sir Richard's 1710 runs. I was at Multan stadium when he was playing a big knock and nodoubt it was a treat to see him and Lara playing amazing innings. I was doing commentary for radio and what a joy it was to describe both innings. I cannot compare Yousaf with Richards, both r poles apart, have different techniques,styles and temperaments. Both r great and of course Sir Richards was more mature, more seasoned than Yousaf. Iam not belittling Yousaf, he has a class of his own and that is unmatchable. He needs some more years like current one to reach greatness of Viv Richards and he has himself acknowledged it at Karachi today . I salute his humble attitude.

  • moosa on November 27, 2006, 17:32 GMT

    mohd yousuf will be the greatest pakitan batsman has ever produced.He has still got time he has only warmed up let us hope that his great form continues.Insha allah.

  • zulfiqar ali on November 27, 2006, 12:56 GMT

    yousaf is class act but in a differnt mould.sir viv.was super bat who cuold tharsh any attack on any surface. yousaf has to prove this as yet. his main asset is his ability to pick lenght early .this put him in the catigory of very few batsman who are easy on eyes.his real test is coming on s.a. tour in jan.2007.if he score one 190 on that tour he will really be puching sir viv. for the title of most dominating batsman at a strach.i think if one look into the hot streaks of modren batsman it will become much easier to draw a conclusion in this respact.

  • zulfiqar ali on November 27, 2006, 6:52 GMT

    Hard luck sami. But pl. stay cool as you appear to be in scheme of things. Captain and couch want you to be in S.A bound side .We look farward to get some good performances from you in that tour. no one knows your game batter than you so we expact a good show this time.

  • Ahmed Amin Malik on November 26, 2006, 18:45 GMT

    he is a phenomenon

  • Taimur Huk on November 25, 2006, 22:50 GMT

    mohammad yousef batted really well in the first two matches against west indies. i hope he keeps it up and performs well in the 3rd match in karachi. i hope inzaman gets back into his form.

  • wade gibbons on November 25, 2006, 18:33 GMT

    Let's look at what we have today in world cricket. Firstly, Bangladesh and Zimbabwe, masquerading as test teams and depreciating the game; Sri Lanka, depending on the wizadry of Muttiah's bent wrist for test victories; Australia, bullies beating teams in a watered down, weak era of test cricket;Pakistan, promising much but not delivering enough amid the muddle often created by its cricket administrators; England, still thinking that the empire exists and Brittania really rules; West Indies, only saving glory being Lara and still living in the 1980s; South Africa, tough on the surface but a soft underbelly and with a leaning toward choking;India, perpetually flattering to deceive; New Zealand still searching for true pedigree despite its grit. Of today's heroes, who would have made it in the era of Richards, Holding, Marshall, Thompson, Lillee, Hadlee, Garner, Croft, Roberts, Imran Khan, Bedi? Jacques Kallis is a week-era joke who could not have averaged 45 in the decade 1978 to 1988. I would have loved to have seen Graeme Smith face up to Thompson and Lillee, he could not have made a test fifty against them far less get a test century.And what about huff and puff Mcgrath? he is an excellent bowler but could not have made the West Indies team in the early 1980s. Yousuf for all the talk has made a lot of runs off run-of-the-mill attacks. Two 190s off Dave Mohammed, Corey Collymore, Daren Powell,et al, is nothing to sit by the fire and tell one's grandchildren. I think that he is an exceptional talent but could he have made the Pakistan team in the era of Majid Khan,Javid Miandad, Mustaq and Sadiq Muhammed, Asif Iqbal,Imran Khan, who all faced sterner test from greater bowlers? Can you imagine Virender Sehwag caning an attack of four taken from Marshall, Roberts, Holding, Garner, Clarke or Croft? Also remember that the seemingly creditable New Zealand team of the present era was no better than Bangladesh and Zimbabwe back in the 1980s. Remember Ken Rutherford? He would probably have averaged between 40 to 50 in this era, but back in the 1980s, it was painful to see him face up to the West Indies. Rumour has it he used to wake up in the middle of the night, screaming, "Malcolm Marshall! Malcolm Marshall!" It is all about relativity. It is always problematic comparing outside of eras but it brings soundness to some of the hysterically emotional arguments one hears sometimes. Case in point, there are some guys who were average to good in the mid-1970s to late 1980s who would have been cricketing gods with some of the poor lot playing world cricket today. In this era, the likes of Mohinder Amarnath, Wasim Raja, Derek Randall, Kim Hughes, etc, would have been cricketing icons. But they came up in a tough era and are not considered "greats" by yesterday's standards. Tino Best, for instance, would not have been allowed in the West Indies dressing room in the 1980s unless he was getting an autograph from someone. But he actually made the team in this era. Can you believe that such names as Lincoln Roberts, Suruj Ragoonath actually played test cricket for the West Indies? Of the current players, there are some who would have walked into their respective teams at any point of history. But there are only a few. Ponting, Lara, Tendulkar, Dravid, Pollock, Ahktar, Muttiah, Warne, Yousuf, Ul Haq, to mention a few. Flintoff is a good prospect, but I am wary of classing him with Botham, as the Poms are doing. England has a history of catching at straws to keep their morale high and to maintain the belief that they have something to offer, when in reality they are engaging in the pastime of hyperbole. David Beckham is a classic example of their hyperbole. Enough said.

  • final comment on November 25, 2006, 18:32 GMT

    yousuf is the greatest batsman of all time no one is above him

  • Kaley on January 27, 2012, 3:11 GMT

    I didn't know where to find this info then kaoobm it was here.

  • Geoff on December 1, 2006, 0:27 GMT

    A stunning performance from a player respected the world over. Does Pakistan have any more tests in 2006 so that he can extend this record?

  • A.R.Zaidi on November 27, 2006, 18:23 GMT

    And he has done again at Karachi, 22nd century and only 46 runs away from Sir Richard's 1710 runs. I was at Multan stadium when he was playing a big knock and nodoubt it was a treat to see him and Lara playing amazing innings. I was doing commentary for radio and what a joy it was to describe both innings. I cannot compare Yousaf with Richards, both r poles apart, have different techniques,styles and temperaments. Both r great and of course Sir Richards was more mature, more seasoned than Yousaf. Iam not belittling Yousaf, he has a class of his own and that is unmatchable. He needs some more years like current one to reach greatness of Viv Richards and he has himself acknowledged it at Karachi today . I salute his humble attitude.

  • moosa on November 27, 2006, 17:32 GMT

    mohd yousuf will be the greatest pakitan batsman has ever produced.He has still got time he has only warmed up let us hope that his great form continues.Insha allah.

  • zulfiqar ali on November 27, 2006, 12:56 GMT

    yousaf is class act but in a differnt mould.sir viv.was super bat who cuold tharsh any attack on any surface. yousaf has to prove this as yet. his main asset is his ability to pick lenght early .this put him in the catigory of very few batsman who are easy on eyes.his real test is coming on s.a. tour in jan.2007.if he score one 190 on that tour he will really be puching sir viv. for the title of most dominating batsman at a strach.i think if one look into the hot streaks of modren batsman it will become much easier to draw a conclusion in this respact.

  • zulfiqar ali on November 27, 2006, 6:52 GMT

    Hard luck sami. But pl. stay cool as you appear to be in scheme of things. Captain and couch want you to be in S.A bound side .We look farward to get some good performances from you in that tour. no one knows your game batter than you so we expact a good show this time.

  • Ahmed Amin Malik on November 26, 2006, 18:45 GMT

    he is a phenomenon

  • Taimur Huk on November 25, 2006, 22:50 GMT

    mohammad yousef batted really well in the first two matches against west indies. i hope he keeps it up and performs well in the 3rd match in karachi. i hope inzaman gets back into his form.

  • wade gibbons on November 25, 2006, 18:33 GMT

    Let's look at what we have today in world cricket. Firstly, Bangladesh and Zimbabwe, masquerading as test teams and depreciating the game; Sri Lanka, depending on the wizadry of Muttiah's bent wrist for test victories; Australia, bullies beating teams in a watered down, weak era of test cricket;Pakistan, promising much but not delivering enough amid the muddle often created by its cricket administrators; England, still thinking that the empire exists and Brittania really rules; West Indies, only saving glory being Lara and still living in the 1980s; South Africa, tough on the surface but a soft underbelly and with a leaning toward choking;India, perpetually flattering to deceive; New Zealand still searching for true pedigree despite its grit. Of today's heroes, who would have made it in the era of Richards, Holding, Marshall, Thompson, Lillee, Hadlee, Garner, Croft, Roberts, Imran Khan, Bedi? Jacques Kallis is a week-era joke who could not have averaged 45 in the decade 1978 to 1988. I would have loved to have seen Graeme Smith face up to Thompson and Lillee, he could not have made a test fifty against them far less get a test century.And what about huff and puff Mcgrath? he is an excellent bowler but could not have made the West Indies team in the early 1980s. Yousuf for all the talk has made a lot of runs off run-of-the-mill attacks. Two 190s off Dave Mohammed, Corey Collymore, Daren Powell,et al, is nothing to sit by the fire and tell one's grandchildren. I think that he is an exceptional talent but could he have made the Pakistan team in the era of Majid Khan,Javid Miandad, Mustaq and Sadiq Muhammed, Asif Iqbal,Imran Khan, who all faced sterner test from greater bowlers? Can you imagine Virender Sehwag caning an attack of four taken from Marshall, Roberts, Holding, Garner, Clarke or Croft? Also remember that the seemingly creditable New Zealand team of the present era was no better than Bangladesh and Zimbabwe back in the 1980s. Remember Ken Rutherford? He would probably have averaged between 40 to 50 in this era, but back in the 1980s, it was painful to see him face up to the West Indies. Rumour has it he used to wake up in the middle of the night, screaming, "Malcolm Marshall! Malcolm Marshall!" It is all about relativity. It is always problematic comparing outside of eras but it brings soundness to some of the hysterically emotional arguments one hears sometimes. Case in point, there are some guys who were average to good in the mid-1970s to late 1980s who would have been cricketing gods with some of the poor lot playing world cricket today. In this era, the likes of Mohinder Amarnath, Wasim Raja, Derek Randall, Kim Hughes, etc, would have been cricketing icons. But they came up in a tough era and are not considered "greats" by yesterday's standards. Tino Best, for instance, would not have been allowed in the West Indies dressing room in the 1980s unless he was getting an autograph from someone. But he actually made the team in this era. Can you believe that such names as Lincoln Roberts, Suruj Ragoonath actually played test cricket for the West Indies? Of the current players, there are some who would have walked into their respective teams at any point of history. But there are only a few. Ponting, Lara, Tendulkar, Dravid, Pollock, Ahktar, Muttiah, Warne, Yousuf, Ul Haq, to mention a few. Flintoff is a good prospect, but I am wary of classing him with Botham, as the Poms are doing. England has a history of catching at straws to keep their morale high and to maintain the belief that they have something to offer, when in reality they are engaging in the pastime of hyperbole. David Beckham is a classic example of their hyperbole. Enough said.

  • final comment on November 25, 2006, 18:32 GMT

    yousuf is the greatest batsman of all time no one is above him

  • Ultimate_fair_comment on November 25, 2006, 17:07 GMT

    We all know what kind of a team England are. You need to see their bowlers getting hammered by Australia. Pakistan & Yousuf were lucky to tour Engaland in the 2nd half of the summer and performed reasonably (They still lost 3-0). The tour of SA would prove to be a litmus test for Yousuf and I feel it would bring the reality out that he is only a good batsman on flat pitches and nothing else.

  • Muhammad Umair on November 25, 2006, 15:24 GMT

    mohammad yousuf is a brilliant batsman. lets hope that he will break the record of viv richards. he is a better batsman than ponting or lara. his enemies say that he scores runs in batsman friendly. but his 631 runs in england are the answer to those enemies, remember that even mark taylor,steve waugh or ponting have not scored over 600 runs in england

  • Jinn on November 25, 2006, 11:55 GMT

    i dont think you can compare the two, viv has had an awesome career while Yousuf has had an awesome last 2 years.. but no man has come this close in 30 years to beating Viv, so far at thier peaks, Lara, ponting, tendulkar, dravid, kallis, inzi, hayden, not one of them has peaked to this level of Yousafs in a single year, that in itself is quite an achievement.

  • Shahbaz Faheem on November 25, 2006, 9:41 GMT

    Mr. Abbasi First of all I would request you not to post the comments of people like GAH! his comments are disgusting and nonsense. He doesn't have the guts to give his real name, what a pity.

    Let's come to the point. Yusuf's achievement is indeed great and commendable, hats off to him. I don't believe in comparisons. To me yusuf's lazy elegance and graceful batting is treat to watch it gives me as much pleasure as watching Brian Lara's high back-lift drives. I wish & pray that Yusuf continues to play like this and break all batting records (Ameen).

    So guys, just enjoy the cricket and stop commenting on anybody's religion or appearance.

  • arif on November 25, 2006, 5:19 GMT

    @paul u showed concern about the ppl discussing the Muslim yousuf but in the later paragraph u urself discuss about the pressures on the yousuf. dear tell me how u know all that preesures on yousuf when he was cristian. have yousuf ever asked u about those pressures. shame dear pakistan is not europe or america where muslims are specialy targeted where pakistanis always receive racial abuse. so dont discuss religion from a muslim or a cristian point of view we all admire yousuf since he started his cricket forpakistan cricket not when he converted.

  • JAVED A. KHAN, MONTREAL, CANADA on November 25, 2006, 4:52 GMT

    I am quoting a sentence from this thread:

    "Posted by: Jay at November 24, 2006 10:22 AM Averages don't mean anything anymore......"

    IF averages don't mean anything anymore, then the most feared batsman in today's cricketing world, in my opinion is Shahid Afridi. I am not comparing him with the class of Viv Richards, Lara, Tendulkar or Yousuf. But, he is every bowler's nightmare. It's another thing that Afridi's innings don't last longer than 10 overs. But, whenever he has stayed at the crease for 10 overs or more, he has done so much damage to the opposition that they never recover from that shock. Whenever he has scored a century, be it a one day or a test match (5 test hundreds and 4 ODI hundreds) Pakistan has won, this is a 100% record, which no other player possess to their credentials.

    Who doesn't love Shahid Afridi? When he comes to the field for batting, his fans go wild all over the world they love to see him score, when he is out, the opposition loves that moment and look up at the Heaven and thank God for the hurrican has past and whatever damage it has done is considered as the minimum damage.

    And this one is for wade gibbons, who wrote:

    "God made heaven, the earth, and then he made VIV RICHARDS....... and then He sent down Shahid Afridi and called him the THUNDER and the LIGHTENING ....... and that is the bottom line!

  • Suhaib Jalis Ahmed on November 25, 2006, 4:01 GMT

    I agree that Yousuf is having a year that any great batsman would be proud of. His transformation has played a vital role in improving his performance, but suggestions that he was under pressure as a lone Christian in the team are totally absurd. Yousuf has converted on his own free will. His improvement indicates the inner calm that every Muslim should have. He was always considered a key member of the team, even before conversion.

    However, I think that comparisons with Viv are slightly premature. Viv was great(PERIOD) Yousuf has to play well for a few more years before he can be compared with him. Plus, they are two different kinds of batsman.

    I feel that Ricky was rightfully given the awards, simply because he batted witht he burden of captaincy. ( The shock I got was that Pathan made it into the ICC ODI XI !)

  • TK on November 25, 2006, 0:23 GMT

    Yusuf indeed is a great batsman! Yusuf has outperformed tricky Ricky P. this year. He definitely deserved one of the ICC awards but fell victim to political correctness of the present times!

    Viv Richards was great batsman too, but one wonders why he had difficulty playing Nazir Junior’s off spin?

  • Paul on November 24, 2006, 23:35 GMT

    Humayun that's really ridiculous to assert that Yousuf didn't get the award because he's a Muslim-not only is there no evidence for it, but it doesn't do justice to the other good contenders for the award. I too think Yousuf had a decent case, however it's comments of people like you that whack his credibility.

    Certainly Yousuf has undergone a transformation over the last year. I don't buy the reasons most people give, i'm sorry but that's just wrong. What is right, as a few people have pointed out, is his conversion has played a role. Of course it has, you think about the pressure of being the lone Christian in the team, and a public figure. By being a Muslim Yousuf now feels part of not just the team, but the team as a family, and has less pressure from his teammates. The fact that the last year he has been able to break the shackles and not just perform better, but be a happier person, shows just what pressure he was being put under before. Quite sad really.

    It'll be unfortunate if Yousuf is made captain soon, because it will prove in many people's minds their suspicion about the board overlooking him before not for his performance, but his beliefs. In that light i'm not suprised about a certain PCB's recent comments about the place (or rather lesser that they wanted) of Islam in the team, one would expect they are doing this to 'prepare the soil' for Yousuf to be made captain, as otherwise they know most of the other teams and fans, at least in the West, won't take it seriously.

    As for comparisons of Yousuf with Richards, let's calm down a bit. They key word for a champion is consistency, and Yousuf's had a good couple of years, let's wait another 3 before we assess this question. I think every Muslim is understandably trying to make the new successful convert their lovechild, and in their haste getting a little ahead of their time.

    At his best, Yousuf is both graceful and fearless as a batsman in the one innings. He takes attacks on, and is class in his strokeplay. But like many modern batsman, he still has questions to answer on green pitches and against the shortball, so let's see what happens.

  • fahd on November 24, 2006, 17:51 GMT

    Well for those who are comparing viv and yousuf there is a stat that i have got......viv, yousuf and sachin all are the joint 7th fastest to score 6000 test runs and all got them in 120 innings..........and the current form he is in he might become the fastest ever to reach 7000 test runs..

  • swati on November 24, 2006, 16:50 GMT

    I think all of u r right. you have analysed the situation from different angles. Yousaf was a great batsman right from the start. He had every thing from elegant style to matchless timing. He laked onething i.e self belief. Now as he said as well his conversion to Islam build up his faith and confidence. I must compare him with any lagendry world cricketer.

  • One Cricket Fan on November 24, 2006, 16:44 GMT

    I think people aren't taking Yousuf in the class of Ponting , Tendulkar , let alone Richards . Yeah , it might be childish to compare Yousuf with Richards for one good season , but who knows what lies ahead for Yousuf , And like the form he's in , I think he will end up as one of the all time greats who have played the gentlemen's game . Even before the 2003 world cup , I believed this man has class & used to compare him wiht the likes of Dravids & Kallis(s) , & my friends used to tease me about my cricket knowledge . And know , they admire it . I agree with zulqarni that one great season couldn't earn you a place along with Sir Richards but ( I have a feeling ) that this run of form won't end soon for Yousuf . And then one might be forced to compare Yousuf with the likes of Richards . And ( as Mr.Kamran said ) the tour of Sa is fat approaching as a test of not ( only ) technique but that of character .

  • rizwan on November 24, 2006, 15:47 GMT

    i hope that inshallah that yousuf does go on to break the world record for most test runs in a year. his batting has much improved and he is much more dependable now and is still stylish. ive always admired yousufs style. however to suggest that he has to make runs in s africa to prove himself is somewhat unfair, after all he cant score runs everywhere, his form will have to eventually stop, it happens to every batsman, look at inzamam.

  • arif on November 24, 2006, 14:54 GMT

    yousuf had scored in england and pitches there were not prepared by pakistani groundmen

  • ZEESHAN on November 24, 2006, 14:37 GMT

    I think it is something to do with Beard. Viv Richard and Yousuf both have beards!

  • MAMOON AFTAB CHEEMA on November 24, 2006, 14:22 GMT

    well where as i think,as the batsmen,s averages were low in 80,s.the bowlers were also not so paccy and fast at that time.as far as yousaf is concerned ,he will be THE KING OF THE TEST WORLD OF CRICKET in just few coming ahead and he will always.and i am sure he will be given the SIR award in the world of cricket.he is born to be the record broker,and u all will see ahead that he will break all the records of test batting ,he can and he will.this is my beleive as one fan of cricket.

  • Most_Fair_Comment on November 24, 2006, 13:38 GMT

    Tendulkar, Dravid, Sunil Gavaskar all these greats must have also thanked the groundsmen to prepare flat batting wickets ... well I think this is not the case ... achievement is something which should be acknowledged ...

  • Cricket_Fan on November 24, 2006, 13:31 GMT

    Well, if you talk about records, it does not really matter whether batsmen play on dead or lively pitches, as great bowlers like Mc Grath, Pollock etc enjoy the comfort of bowling on bouncy and lively pitches, then why no one has ever made such comments for their efforts that it's easy to bowl well on lively pitches Cricket is all about handling the pressure ...

  • Nauman Hamid on November 24, 2006, 13:17 GMT

    Its true that we cant compare the arrogance and brutality of Viv Richards batting to the humbleness and selflessness of Yousaf's batting but I still beleive that Yousaf deserves a hell lot of respect considering what kind of batting line up he is a member of. Its a fact that its a lot easier to score runs on flat surfaces of modern days but it probably was a bit easier to impose youself on the bowlers when you have the company of people like Gorden Grinidge, Doesmend Hainse and Clive Loyd. Unlike Yousaf, who hardly ever comes to the crease after a descent opening stand and a batting line up so fragile that it crumbles under any kind of pressure and does not have any consistancy whatsoever. Taking nothing away from the greats like Richards and Pontings, Yousaf still stands tall mainly because he has been the Lone Warrior in a team that many consider as one of the week batting line ups in the world; unlike the likes of Pontings and the Richards.

  • Fair_Comment on November 24, 2006, 12:46 GMT

    You have to admire Yousuf's appetite for runs. But he should thank the groundsman of the pakistan grounds who have prepared pitches loaded totally in favour of the batsman. This was even admitted by Yousuf recently. The pitches are so flat that it belittles his achievemnt if you compare it to Richards.

  • Zulqarni on November 24, 2006, 12:35 GMT

    Yusuf might have had one fantastic season.But he is no Richards,it is a false analogy really.Richards was a batsman for all seasons ,venues and teams.And lest we forget it was all during a pre-Helmet era.

  • Noman Aziz on November 24, 2006, 12:03 GMT

    Mohammad yousuf, the most down to earth personality the world cricket has ever witnessed. This summer when Pakistan visited England, Mohammad Yousuf would spend his out of cricket hours in a mosque and on occasions would sleep on the floor. How often have we seen people leaving their luxurior 5-star hotel room with tight security and spend a night among common people in a local mosque. Such is his modesty. His old team mate Saeed Anwar and Saqlain Mushtaq were also in the mosque with him. Its the simplicity and humbleness that has now made him one of the most prominent figure in the world cricket today..I pray that he surpasses not just Viv richard's record but also all the other records any batsman has ever made.

  • F.A. on November 24, 2006, 12:01 GMT

    Well I think its not about mere comparison. No doubt, the class viv had, any other batsman could even dream to achieve. But never forget its about records and Yousuf is (yet) the second highest run getter who is trying to over pass viv in Karachi. One thing whcih no body have discussed was about the quality of companions viv had. All top quality betsmen were there to ease and support viv and look who other then Inzi ever supported Yousuf throughout his career. I think you all will agree with this view point.

  • khuram on November 24, 2006, 11:57 GMT

    he is an incredible batsman no doubt. but mr. woolmer please teach him how to take a single. i think he is a worse runner between the wickets than inzi. although inzi has the record of most run outs, i think many of his run outs will be because of juicy's wrong calls. however, we can forgive and forget if he crosses the 148 run target in his next test surpassing the highest nr of runs scored in a calendar yr by a batsman. GO YOUSUF!!

  • arif on November 24, 2006, 11:46 GMT

    no comparison of two ( Yousuf and Richards) both have their own class and style and approach.

  • Alam on November 24, 2006, 11:42 GMT

    Kamran, I read Jay's post just now and I totally agree with him. Batsmen are having a field day now.In one week we had Lara's double hundred and 190's from Yousuf and Ponting.This clearly shows the decline in bowling compared to the 80's. Someone has said 'Statistics are like a bikini.What it reveals is obvious but what it hides is vital.' So going by stats will take you only this far...but there are factors beyond mere statistics which count a lot like the bowling against which the runs are scored, the situation of the game, the impact these runs had on the outcome of the match/series etc.

  • Azfar Alam on November 24, 2006, 11:19 GMT

    Well, when Yousuf Youhana became a Muslim there were snide remarks that he has done this to enhance his chances of becoming the captain.He was no doubt a consistent player but in 2006 he has taken a stride to becoming one of Pakistan's great batsmen....in the league of Hanif Mohammad, Majid Khan, Zaheer Abbas, Javed Miandad and Inzamam.And this transformation has coincided with his religious conversion.So certainly religion has something to do with it. This may prompt Sourav Ganguly to convert to Islam....just kidding. The series of tall scores Yousuf has reeled off this year is quite amazing....but I hope he doesn't break Richards mark. After all there has been only one king among batsman..King Richards. There is no doubt the quality of bowling in world cricket is not the same now compared to what it was in Viv's time...we had Lillee, Thomson, Willis , Botham, Imran, Sarfaraz, Kapil, Hadlee...and Richards never wore a helmet. Yuosuf has already scored lots of runs in England this year. He now has to score heavily in Australia and South Africa to come in the league of Lara,Ponting & Tendulkar.

  • Altaf Lodhi on November 24, 2006, 11:08 GMT

    I am sure Mohammad Yousuf, the way he is batting will beat the reckord of Sir Viv Richards and make a new reckord which will take years to beat, in the Karachi Test. He is a great player and can be compared to any world class batsman past, present or future.

  • Zaheer Abbasi on November 24, 2006, 11:05 GMT

    I am very amused with all these postings, no doubt Yousuf has done well this year but as many have said there is no comparison between the 2. Richards was a brutal batsman and a presence others feared on the pitch, Yousuf is a mellow fellow who gets pushed around a little and reacts with smile in the face of anger. I believe cricket needs to be aggressive as it is the battle of minds, skill and attitude. As a cricket fan i would like him to go well and beyond batting best but do not compare Yousuf to Richards as the former was the world's greatest cricketer and entertainer.

  • Jay on November 24, 2006, 10:22 GMT

    Averages don't mean anything anymore. There was a time when statistics were a decent measure of a player's ability, but with the inclusion of Bangladesh and the simultaneous declince in the bowling resources of several teams, batting averages have headed north with no end in sight.

    It hurts me to declare that fans who still follow cricket stats and averages are analysing the wrong results. This was never the case before (pre-96 world cup days).

    No one ever recorded desire, no one ever set a scale for reliability and the ability to produce in critical situations (particularly in alien conditions) was never measured. Comparing cricketers is highly subjective and judgement is often clouded by loyalty to a team or even generation. Yousuf has done plenty to earn all the praise he is receiving and thoroughly deserves to be compared to greats of the past. So while it is no longer blasphemous to utter the names Yousuf and Richards in the same breath, a comparison of this type still reeks of a hasty conclusion.

  • Sabit Mir on November 24, 2006, 10:21 GMT

    It is unfortunate that personal like and dislike play a major role in these discussions.

    Viv Richards was a great batsman for those who have not seen Sobers batting.

    Javed Miandad still holds world record of consecutive above 5o runs in test innings. Compare this feat with Viv Richards.

    It is sad that in one of the comments Javed Miandad was not mentioned with Allen Border and Viv Richards in above 50 average holders. In fact Javed is the only batsman in the cricket history to have maintained above 50 average from the first test to the last. With 6 double centuries under his belt he stands tall among his contemporary batsmen.

    Yousuf is more consistent than any of the contemporary batsmen. He lacks experience on bouncy wickets. This will improve with more cricket on bouncy wickets. Yousuf seems to be getting closer to Miandad in achievements.

  • Jay on November 24, 2006, 10:13 GMT

    Well all i can say to this is Old Trafford Steve Harmison roughs him up Monty Panesar cleans him up Pace and Bounce has always been his undoing as are lively pitches. Richards was a legend when the contest between bat and ball was a bit more even than the short boundaries and poor fast bowlers these days. I wonder how he would have fared in the carribean against Holding/Garner et al!

  • Hashaam Raja on November 24, 2006, 10:02 GMT

    "To compare Richards to anyone other than Lara or Tendulkar is to compare chalk with cheese", Ths was a comment made by Ifram in an earlier post. Unfortunately i do not agree. Sadly i am too young to have ever witnessed the greatness of Sir Viv. But to say you can compare him to Tendulkar and Lara and not to Yousaf is not right. Undoubtedly Lara and Tendulkar have great class, style and technique, just like Yousaf, but i cannont remember them putting together such a succesfull run. Lara is a great batsman , and maybe if he had more talented batsman aroud him he would have been able to put together a succesful run, however tendulkar has no excuse, he has had talented batsman playing around him throughout his career. They both have one off series in which they make runs. Mohammed Yousaf has played series in WI, SRI L, Eng, and Pak, this year. and in all these serie has made ample runs and he is now averaging over 100 for the year. Therefore if u can compare Sir Viv to lara and Tendulkar you can undoubtedly compare him to the awsome most elegant, stylish and tecniquely perfect batsman of his ERA, MOHAMMED YOUSAF.

    Further more i wish to clear up any doubts that fans have about yousafs performance in the upcoming tour of South Africa, I feel that he will undoubtedly perform insha-alah. I wish him succes for the rest of his career.

    About the captaincy i feel they should give it to a younger player, as yousaf is coming to the end of his career.

  • Karthik on November 24, 2006, 9:11 GMT

    I think the comment posted by Irfam has hit the nail on the head. Modern day any player can basically rack up a bucket load of runs due to the flat batsmen friendly pitches and real sub standard bowlers. Boeta Dippenaar of South Africa has a one day average of nearly 43, so i guess that it makes him a one day great since Sachin has only 44 odd, Sanath has less than that also.

  • Asim A Q Siddiqui on November 24, 2006, 8:55 GMT

    Hello every body, Muhammed Yousaf’s performance is no doubt just phenomenal, nervous 190s… well, I can’t say it “nervous” 190s because most of the time what I observed is that his style never change whether he is on 99 or 101. His year 2006 is amazing, because he is having amazing good lucks plus amazing bad lucks. Many drop catches I’ve seen converted to hundred with good luck and many hundred converted to big ones with extra ordinary performance and then last but not the least many 190s could not be converted to double, huge bad luck, otherwise he could have been somewhere near to Lara and co as for as double hundreds are concerned. Now he is going to have last match of the year and I am sure viv record in hot water because he won’t take any pressure to break this record rather he will play normal, cool and calm, consistent cricket off course with his class, as ever which is key of his success. As for as religious conversion is concerned he can describe it better than any one else, and according to him, YES, it really did matter.

  • khawi butt on November 24, 2006, 8:35 GMT

    Agreed Mr.Scot he ricky can even win captain of the year as welll. Alright there is no need to compare just look at the performance of him in this year, its just awesome and i wish him all the luck in final test.

  • Nuruddin Lakhani on November 24, 2006, 8:26 GMT

    Lets forget about record or comparisons and see Mohammad Yousuf as an individual who has come a long way and has made his mark at the international level as a class batsman. He has played some memorable innings in Australia before showing his authority in England in 2006. One does not have to prove himself by playing well in English, Australian or South Aftican conditions only - I believe Yousuf has shown his class by playing under extreme pressure as one remember his innings in Australia when he had to take over captaincy from back troubled Inzi.

    Pakistan has been blessed by many match winning bowlers in the past. You can actually count the batsmen on your fingertips. Hanif Mohammad would have averaged well over 55 if he would have played now, but I must say that Yousuf has been the best thing that happened to Pakistan cricket batting line up in last 7 years and he is going to carry on once Inzi calls it a day.

  • Adeel Khan on November 24, 2006, 8:18 GMT

    Most of the people below I think failed to properly read Kamran's blog. He discussed Richards' record and just compared the playing style of Yousuf and Richards. I don't think Kamran, at any point, was comparing the quality of batsmanship of either of them. He wasn't even implying that Yousuf is as good or better then the Great King Viv. I think people should make an effort to understand the real subject of the article.

    Coming back to Yousuf, I think he is come of age rather surprisingly. His lack of match-winning knocks against top oppositions and needless wicket-throwing were becoming repetitiveand frustrating. But they way he has turned a corner over the last two years has been incredible. He is essentially the same player but with greater composure and mental toughness. He has visibly taken charge of Pakistan's powerful middle-order and has become the new Inzamam if you will.

  • Waseem on November 24, 2006, 7:53 GMT

    Hi there, Yousuf realy played a prolific and exquisite innings. I'm wondering why people try to compare Sir Viv Richards and Yousuf. Look at the gap between them and also keep in your mind the different situations, bowlers, pace and the quality of bowling. was the cricket as fast as it is today? Do we have the same calibre of bowlers today? After ansewring these question and so many other like this we can draw a conclusion that we cannot compare the batsmen of past with the batsman of today. so let's admire what they had accomplished in the past and what is achieved by the batsman of present.

  • Talha Ahmed on November 24, 2006, 7:36 GMT

    A year ago I wouldnt have recalled Yousuf as particularly someone who has been riding a lot of luck. Now though! some one could build such an opinion. I dont know if somebody could put together a statistic to prove if he has been luckier than usual through this Period, but I would say he has certainly taken advantage of whatever luck was offerred. Those of us who believe that there is a man upstairs responsible for it would say that He is definitely lending him a hand. Even yet it is difficult to say that he has been rewarded more for changing his name rather than for becoming more adept at grafting it out. I dont believe that in test cricket a chancy knock of 150 or more loses a lot of credibility against a chanceless knock. When Bob Woolmer said how much he rued seeing Lara being dropped at 23, he glorified the next chanceless 478 he got in that innings. Nobody even remembers a dropped catch if the batsman lobs another after sometime. Success is not only directly propotional to your number of opportunities but also how well you grasp each one of those opportunities to your benefit.

  • Rehan on November 24, 2006, 7:31 GMT

    First of all i congratulate Muhammad Yousaf for his tremendous performance throughout this calender year.After it i request to all the nation to pray for the Muhammad yousaf to achieve the stone mile of 1710 runs.

  • Saleem nasir on November 24, 2006, 7:30 GMT

    He is great batsman and very humble person.i pray a lot for him and for his success.Inshallah he will break the record of Richard and many more.God help him.He is a true muslim and believes on God more than a normal muslim.I need his telephone no.or e -mail or address .I want to congratulate him on his performance.Please reply me.

    Thanks

  • Humayun Tareen on November 24, 2006, 7:07 GMT

    Unfortunetly, we are comparing yusuf with viv,instead of realising his out standing performance, no doubt he is one of best batsman in the world, we should ask ICC or send mail to them WHY YUSUF WAS NOT AWARDED BEST PLAYER OF THE YEAR , may be the conversion of the religion is one of the reason, and we all know the attitute towards musilm, I pray to ALLAH to give Yusuf more success and respect.

  • Ahmed Omair on November 24, 2006, 6:35 GMT

    Yousuf certainly deserves what he has done for Pakistan cricket. Comparing him with Viv Richards and saying Yousuf is not as good as him is injustice to Yousuf. Richards had a very strong and performing all round team where as Pakistan got lot less resources than those days West Indian team. Yousuf has so far achieved no meager record. Its the record for most prolific batsmen of this era. Its a record that no masters of Today icluding Ponting, Tendulker and Lara have broken. If Yousuf breaks it will be certainly a very very big achievement.

  • HUSSAIN on November 24, 2006, 6:25 GMT

    what a class batsman better than sachin . playing for country not for himself.I do not belive how he could not get the best test batsman award this year

  • Azfar Shahzad on November 24, 2006, 6:22 GMT

    What Yusuf is doing makes me think of myself as heavenly creatures. It gives me chills........nah ghost spots just to realize that a Pakistani could go on to beat Sir Viv Richards. I am sure that I am gonna watch the Karachi match just for one sole purpose.........Watch a Pakistani become larger than life

  • jadoogar-spin on November 24, 2006, 6:16 GMT

    Whether Yusuf does or does not break Viv's record or not, he's the favorite in my book. He is already the highest scoring batter by averages in Pakistan's cricket history!!!

  • ghazi on November 24, 2006, 5:58 GMT

    cmon yousuf, you can do it!!! inshaallah. break viv richards record.

  • Shawkat Shareef on November 24, 2006, 5:27 GMT

    Muhammad Yousuf has always been one of the masterful batsmen Pakistan has ever produced. Psychological battling with his religious past, it was not at all easy for him to relax, refresh, and come back to field again, so to speak. He must have a heart of a giant to balance between his cricket and his life. I have always been a huge fan of Yousuf, have always seen him in the ranks of great Miandad. To tell you the truth, it's been a while that he is playing better than Inzamam and truly deserves not to be boringly compared with the captain all the time. Both of them are very good in their own right. I would like to see more and more records from Yousuf, what I beieve, is not very difficult for him to produce.

  • Muhammad Bilal Yousaf on November 24, 2006, 4:56 GMT

    Thank's Allah First of All that he gave such a wonderful bastman likw Muhammad Yousaf for Pakistan. I am sure inshallah he reached highest in Cricket history to break viv Richard's record. He needs 149 runs to break a record. I pray to God that may Allah help him to braks the record in Karach and make ICC think that they committed a blunde when they ignord him for hte prestigious awards of player of the year or test cricket of the year. Can Malcom Speed and ICC decision commettee justy this one of their action? Cricket. Inshallah Yousaf becomes a higher run getter in Calander Year and make us proud.

  • sma on November 24, 2006, 4:40 GMT

    Once again Yousof was to the rescue of Pakistan (i've lost count on number of times he single handedly saved Pakistan).

    Pakistan's problem is - it is always 1-2 individuals who shine on that day and not collective team effort. If they are going to go all the way at the W-cup, it would not be just Yousof but it will need the entire team's effort ie playing 11, reserves, selectors, coach, managers and all those involved.

    We cannot be counting for W-Cup triumph with just Yousouf's current form. Its not gonna work.

  • aSim on November 24, 2006, 4:39 GMT

    Indeed Yousaf is a class act and a great cover driver of cricket ball in recent times....he will surely cross the Viv. record May Allah bless him...

  • Scott on November 24, 2006, 4:30 GMT

    Yousuf comes nowhere near Ricky Ponting, especially the Ricky Ponting who has assumed the captaincy. Ponting has scored close to 1000 runs in 7 test matches (11 innings) and with possibly seven more innings to come this calendar year could go past Richards and Yousf as the greatest run scorer in a year. Ponting won both cricketer of the year and test cricketer on his merits - noone else comes close. But for some pandering to the Asian nations he would also have won captain of the year (11 test wins from 12, Champions Trophy, VB Series cup etc)

  • saqibashfaq on November 24, 2006, 4:22 GMT

    I remember when yousaf drove a yet another classic cover drive and Sanjay said "we come to watch cricket for this". He is a pleasure to watch. and a genious doesnt need awards....

  • Wasim Alim on November 24, 2006, 4:07 GMT

    Mr Gibbons, No one is comparing Yousaf's career to that of Richards. The comparison is based on runs scored in a calendar year and so far Yousaf is 2nd on the all time list behind only Richards. Yousaf has had a great year therefore the comparison with Viv Richards based on this specific category. Regardless of the averages, run scored, centuries, etc. Viv Richards has been the most dominating batsman of the modern era (although Ponting is making a very good case for himself). Mohammed Yousaf deserves a lot of credit for the way he performed in the year 2006 against all kinds of attacks and in different conditions.

    With teams like Bangla Desh and Zimbabwe around, records are watered down in recent years. What makes Yousaf's record even more incredible is that he didnt play even a single test against BD and Zim in 2006.

  • Zuhair on November 24, 2006, 3:53 GMT

    Well..Youuuf is a real class act and one has to beleieve that he will certainly break pass all the pakistan test batting records...be it runs, centuries or doubl centuries!! howver, he might not make more fifties as he mostly gets 100s!!! Although, yousuf this year has been phenomenal to say the least, but let's not forget that he is one player i rmember who hardly ever had any bad pathch throughout his career!! except for one year, yousuf's performance had been up thier with the very best. He was always a class act, its j just now where he is at the peak of his batting career. He has assumed more responsibilty to share, rather to overtake from the great inzi. One more thing i would like to add, is that inzi's recent form is just a matter of time, he will surely get among runs big time!! while younis, i believe, is nowhere nar inzi or yousuf's class. He doesnt assume responsibilty!! never does!! Comparing ypusuf with SIr viv Richards may not be welcomed by many, because u see veryy very few batsmen of his class. Having said that, u have to give full marks to yousuf for his brilliance!! and yes he was unlucky not to get the ICC awards. Moreover, getting out in 190s is good enough as long as he keps it doing every other match!!! I am sure now i am not the only one who feels that yousuf has flopped when he doesnt go on to score a century atleast!!

  • ZAIN UL HAQUE on November 24, 2006, 3:43 GMT

    I believe Yousuf is one of the most stylish mdern-day test batsman who has made cricket look so easy and enjoyable. 2006 has turned out be a dream year for him. He has left behind giants like Ponting and Dravid in the run tally and is closing on Sir Viv Richards record. Although the nervous 190s is his problem but he has achieved the feat a batsman acquires at 32. With Inzi nearing a natural end, Yousuf's chances of becoming the most reliable and premier batsman have increased. The case with Yousuf is that he has been under-rated in game throughout his career. However, after last year's double ton against England at Lahore laid way for his bright future and his hidden talent has been explored.

  • Talha Farhan on November 24, 2006, 3:41 GMT

    Kamran Bhai I agree with you Viv Richards was one of the all time greats in the batting art. He was consistently attacking throughout his career. And what has put the record of that cricket giant into danger is the consistency of Muhammad Yousaf. So consistency is the key; a tool used appropriately by Muhammad Yousaf, though not a batsman of the same stature, yet producing the same(even could be better) results.

  • Zain Hussain Qureshi on November 24, 2006, 2:26 GMT

    Multan being my hometown, it was delightful watching the elagance of Muhammad Yousuf. He epitomizes great batting, something i wish I could do but I know i never will. I can't even get selected for my college 4th team :(. I hope he goes on to score 150 in the next match and I can fulfill my ambition of watching him score those runs and pretending for a while that I am him. I am sad I know..

  • Muhammad Salahudin on November 24, 2006, 2:01 GMT

    Lets pray to ALLAH that Yousaf breaks the record at karachi and prove to the cricket pundits that he is the most prolific batsman of his era and make ICC think that they commited a blunder when they ignored him for the prestigious awards of player of the year or test cricketer of the year. To be honest and with out any biased opinion he should have been rewarded at least one of the awards for his great achievements. ICC despite their utmost efforts couldn't help Darrel Hair for his axe from elite pannel of umpires instead they helped their cause by depriving Yousaf of the prestigious award. Can Malcom Speed & Co justify this one of their action?

  • Faisal Cheema on November 24, 2006, 1:59 GMT

    If he continues to play like this for the next 2 years or so then he will be in the same conversation as J Miandad for PAK's greatest batsman

  • wade gibbons on November 24, 2006, 1:18 GMT

    Firstly, for that misguided soul, Viv Richards was a batsman, not an allrounder. It is sacrilege to mention Yousuf in the same breath as Richards, irrespective of how some might rate the Pakistani star. Richards was more than a batsman, he had a quality that Yousuf has never had. Bowlers actually feared Richards, he intimidated them, they never lined up to bowl to him. Thoink of some of the bowlers of this era who are rated - McGrath? Richards would have slaughtered his medium-pace line and length stuff' Harmison? a joke with a bowl bowling to Richards. Shoaib Akhtar? His pace would only mean a faster passage to the boundary. Make no mistake about it, God made heaven, the earth, and then he made VIV RICHARDS.

  • imran on November 24, 2006, 1:07 GMT

    I totally agree with most of the comments, Yousuf is amazing. I think its remarkable to see him emerge from such a humble background as a minority (and we now how tough that is in a land like Pakistan) and still 'fight' his way through to the top without much fanfare and arrogance. May you rise even further in your career- Ameen.

  • JAVED A. KHAN on November 24, 2006, 0:56 GMT

    As the Multan test match was heading for a tame draw, the only interesting aspect in the second session of the last day was Yousuf's marvelous innings and I was keeping my fingers cross whether he would get over the nervous moments of 190's and reach his double hundred or will he fail again? He did and I was sorry for that. But,. I was hoping that KAMRAN ABBASSI should write something in praise of Yousuf's batting genius and his devastating form.

    KAMRAN you did not disappoint me or ALL other Pakistanis who were following this game. I am pleasantly pleased to see a new blog praise which Yousuf very rightly deserves. One could write a book on his style and the way he bats, his cover drives are so elegant and he makes batting look so easy.

    Not long ago, I remember watching him play against India in Pakistan. He came and drove four consecutive boundaries and then suddenly he was out. Everyone, including people like Mr. Osman samiuddin criticized his shot and condemned him as a very irresponsible player and tried to justify their criticism by saying what was the need to play that shot after hitting four consecutive boundaries? Some even questioned his place in the team?

    Here we are today, every single person is praising his form and his performance, even Shiv Naraine Chanderpaul gave a pat on Yousuf's back after he scored the century, which I consider as a very nice gesture from the opposition. What a shame that he could not reach his double hundred in the second occasion also! Call it a nervous moment or a tiring moment, personally, I was not hoping Yousuf to score even a 50 as you cannot expect runs from him in every match, every innings he plays. I was hoping Inzamam would be playing a big innings at his home ground, but the big man is definitely out of match practice. I am confident that he will be back in form very soon. It is Inzamam's class that is more important than his current form. Also, to have Yousuf in the team is like having another gem in your pocket. Yousuf's grace and his beard reminds me of William.Gilbert. Grace and his beard.

    I don't want to compare Mohammad Yousuf's batting style with anyone like, Sir Isaac Vivian Alexander Richards or Brian Charles Lara. King Richards is King Richards and his 56 ball test hundred record could be broken, but it will be remembered even by the coming generations. I remember reading John Embury's memoirs in which he wrote: " When Richards was hitting non stop sixes and fours, I asked Ian Bothom to come and bore the brunt of the attack as he (Embury) alone should not be held responsible for the carnage. When Bothom came from the other end he too was punished severely". His 189* in ODI was another classic example, his shots were timed to perfection and placement. When I was young and as a child I remember listening to the radio commentators (like, Brian Johnston and John Arlott ) describing his boundaries by saying, majestic shot, what a great shot, the ball raced to the boundary ALL ALONG THE CARPET.........

  • immers on November 24, 2006, 0:47 GMT

    Out of all these years people only now have come to realise how good mohammad yusuf is. mohamad yusuf has been a class act for many years, the bedrock upon which the pakistan middle order has been based upon for many years. I think its a shame that his efforts have only been recognised at a time when he is could break vic richards record. for anyone who knows cricket they would know that he's been an oustanding star for the pakistan team not just this year but for the last 5 years. It is also beggars belief that ponting beat him to the test awards, now that is a conspiracy if i ever saw one.

  • Arsalan Shah on November 24, 2006, 0:09 GMT

    Mohammad Yousuf is not just a great batsman but he is also a great person. I have not seen a cricketer ever who would yet smile after being out at 191. He will go a long way and hopefully he breaks Viv Richards record. And mind this todays cricket is far more difficult than Richards time and if this holds true then only we can compare Tendulker and Lara to Don Bradman otherwise they are not even close.

  • Sajjad Junaidi on November 23, 2006, 23:42 GMT

    GAH! Tell me you weren’t serious about your comment on spelling and grammar….. If your job is to discourage people, than you have done well.

  • Ashfaq Ahmad on November 23, 2006, 23:25 GMT

    Like some people compare Shah Rukh Khan with Amitabh Bacchan,people are comparing Yousuf with Richards.Both players are completely different in style,stamina,approach and temperament.Yousuf is an artiste-his late-cuts,glances,cover drives and pulls are joy to watch-it is like a poem on the vast canvas of the green whereas Richards was all power,brutality and had a sharp eye.I have seen his numerous innings in England-Tets and ODIs and the thrill and sensation you felt watching Richards,is missing when you watch Yousuf batting.One shot by Richards I will never forget-against England on the last ball of an ODI innings against Bob Willis of England.Richards left is crease completely and stood outside the leg stump before the ball was delivered.He was so confident of himself and aware of all the field placing on the legside-Richards hit a massive six on the off side!!I never saw Bradman but Richrads was perhaps only second to him. It reminds me that there was an Exhibition match in Karachi in late 50s.Keith Miller scored 156 runs and hit numerous sies apart from lovely drives and pulls-it was sheer power and aggression.They had to place some policemen on top of wall adjoining Karachi Gymkhana ground and the then Governor General house.The job of the policemen was to retrieve the ball from GG house when every few minutes Miller hit a six and the ball was lost.When the other side batted,Musthaq Ali,captaining the side scored ony 59 runs but there was hardly any shot in the book that he did not play-the late cut,glance,cover drive,reverse sweep.It was delicate beautiful batting as opposed to Miller's murderous play.Incidently there is this misconception that Mushtaq Mohammad,Hanif's brother was the inventor of reverse sweep wheareas it was Mushtaq Ali who used to play this shot in his prime -in lete 40s or so.

    Back to Yousuf.We wish you luck I always regarded him as the best Pakistani batsman.

  • behzad on November 23, 2006, 23:10 GMT

    Yusuf's had a fantastic year. However, the word DEPENDABILITY, like in the rest of the team, sadly dosent exist. Records might be broken, but I am sure even a 50 at Mohali would have overshadowed all those 190 plus scores. Scoring runs to win matches certainly look more attractive.

  • Craig on November 23, 2006, 23:01 GMT

    I'm Clear.

  • Ifram on November 23, 2006, 22:50 GMT

    Viv did his stuff when no other batsmen averaged 50+ and an average of 35+ was plenty good enough for a 10 year test career for a specialist batter.

    Batmen with 50+ averages in a year are ten a penny now (look at Hussey, Pietersens's first year, Kallis for several years) massive massive averages that are a product of - above all else - far better pitches and thicker less compressed bats.

    In the late 80's Border had an average of 51, Richards of about 52, and that was it - now half the Aussie team have massive batting averages - and so do several England players (Ian Bell for goodness sake has an average over 50 - are we saying he is a batting great ? I really don't think so)

    Sorry - runs are just too easy to come by these days (850 in 100 overs in a full ODI this year)

    To compare Richards to anyone other than Lara or Tendulkar is to compare chalk with cheese

  • sabika on November 23, 2006, 22:24 GMT

    what an amazing batsman. im amazed he wasn't named test cricketer of teh year if they had to use all these recent results he would have definetely won thw award wouldnt it be fantastic if he broke viv richards record i have my fingers crossed

  • Kamran Abbasi on November 23, 2006, 22:20 GMT

    Let's be clear: Yousuf might take Viv's record, hence the comparison is forced upon us. Let's be clear about another thing: Yousuf has played wonderfully this year and could go on to break almost every Pakistani batting record. But let's be clear about a final thing: Viv Richards was a once in a lifetime batsman. I've never seen anybody better, and I doubt I ever will.

  • brian on November 23, 2006, 21:57 GMT

    Hello pakistani cricket fans, I have admired Yousuf's batting for a number of years and hope he breakes Sir Viv's record at Karachi, but you cannot compare these two cricketers. They are both in a class by themselves. Yousuf is having a fantastic year, but Richards was fantastic as a batsman and useful bowler for a long time. Good luck to Yousuf and hopefully he captains Pakistan, on a permanent basis, in the near future.

  • SOHAIB HASSAN on November 23, 2006, 21:54 GMT

    Yousaf is great modern batsman. He scored in the year when team doesnt perform too well. Its easy when you have good company but standing alone is really tough job.Viv Richards do has a class so does brian lara & australians(ponting, hyden, langer) but performing that much without equal support from the team is not that easy

  • Imran on November 23, 2006, 21:27 GMT

    well i think Yousaf is a real star of slow tracks...as far as i hav watched his cricket his form somtimes lack on bouncy wickets...but insha Allah he ll continue his recent form in SAF also.

  • omar hussain on November 23, 2006, 21:10 GMT

    hats off to mohammad yousuf for his excellent batting that saved pakistan.i watched the match on t.v. and it makes me shudder that if on a docile pitch the west indian fast bowlers can give our batsmen,yousuf included,such problems what will happen on the faster,bouncy pitches of south africa??? until yousuf+co. can make runs on those pitches please stop comparing them with the likes of viv richards who was classes above this bunch of jitters.also remember he made his runs in pre-helmet days against great fast bowlers like imran,lille etc.

  • Qasim on November 23, 2006, 21:07 GMT

    It is unfair to compare Yousuf with Viv Richards. Yousuf is a batsman and Richards was an allrounder.

    Although I beleive it is unfair and sad when ICC panel and cricinfo's so called "experts" say that the only true great batsmen of this era are Lara, Sachin and Ponting.

    They said that a great batsman of this generation would have an average over 55. Well I would like to say to them that Yousuf now has an average over 55.00 hence, is he now considered to be one of the greatest batsman of this generation? I don't think batsmen become great over night!! And certainly no figures can truly tell how great a batsman is!!

    When Yousuf gets going, his shot play is un-matchable! Not even Lara, Ponting or Sachin can play strokes as cleanly, with such an elegence and timing as Yousuf does. If anybody saw him play against India in Pakistan two or three years ago would agree to me!! He hit the sixes with pure timing.

    I think Yousuf should play at number 3 because then he would be under less pressure and can build an innings in his own way and without the burden of the team (Just like Ponting).

    From the looks of things, Yousuf seems to be only getting warmed up, INSHALLAH he will be even better in the coming years and lets hope he settles some score agains South Africa!

  • Ahmad on November 23, 2006, 21:01 GMT

    Yeah... Yousaf is a great player and remains a great player after the one and only Inzi Bhai.... I think he is the most fluent batsman like Inzamam. He can hang around when he wants to and get stuck into the bowler wehn it needs. I think he will get the record....

  • GAH! on November 23, 2006, 21:00 GMT

    Shouldn't there be some sort of grammar and spelling requirement to post in the comments section?

    I don't really think you can compare great(or not so) batsmen because they all have thier own ways and situations that they have to deal with, be it the team they are in, or the opposition, or even the pitches they call home to.

    Yousef's accomplishments this year are truely commendable and nothing can belittle or depreciate it, and I believe any cricket enthusiast should take it for what it is: good batting.

  • Euceph Ahmed on November 23, 2006, 20:52 GMT

    Kamran, you very rightly sum it up in your last paragraph. Nonchalance has no place in today's world. Imagine what a mouthful of bubblegum, some bling around his neck, and cool sun shades to go with an arrogant attitude would have earned him. But with that long, black bush he doesn't stand a chance to be compared even with Aravinda DeSilva let alone Viv Richards and Ponting. With Naseem Ashraf introducing "enlightened moderation" in the cricket team, it can be argued that that long black bush will be one huge wall between Yousuf and the captaincy of Pakistan cricket team - something he rightfully deserves.

    I am a fan of his temperament more than anything else. Your use of the phrase "zen-like" describes it so beautifully that I wish I'd come with it :) . The tranquility that Yousuf brings to the team is so badly needed especially with all that goes on in the Pakistani dressing rooms.

    GO YOUSUF. The next threee years will belong to him. That is unless that long black bush doesn't become a cause for his downfall.

  • Hussain on November 23, 2006, 20:39 GMT

    I remember in one of his interviews, Yousuf admitted Sir Richards was his favorite batsman and Murlitharan the most difficult bowler to face. I don't think it's fair to compare the two batsmen of different eras especially since Yousuf is not done with his career yet. Yousuf is the most elegant batsman I have ever seen. He has played in pressure situations before and in the past couple of years single handedly guided Pakistan to victories. When all is said and done, in my opinion, he wouldn't be far off from the likes of Waughs,Tendulkars,Laras and Richards.

  • awais on November 23, 2006, 19:53 GMT

    yousaf jst break the record of viv richard and reach the mile stone coz ur far most better den him as compare to todays cricket. pakistan middle order is nothing withour him.

  • ARKAN on November 23, 2006, 19:35 GMT

    I think a big plus that Yusuf has over Richards is his absolutely elegant style.while Richard no doubt was a genius-i shud say an allrounder genius-Yusuf is a BATSMAN. The way he organizes his shots especially the lofted Drive over Mid-off,the high back-lift,the inside-out punching of the balland the extravagant follow-thru of the bat- is a sight probably only rivaled in the cricket by Waqar's amazing reverse-swinging Scuds directed at the base of leg stumps.So i would always rate Yusuf as a much prolific batsman tht Ricahrds could ever have been.

  • owais on November 23, 2006, 19:30 GMT

    hez gr8 A grd batsman dan viv richards Yousuf has beaten da richards record of highest centures in a year Yousuf scored 7 centuries in 10 matches while richard took 11 matches to complete his 7

  • sanwalyaar on November 23, 2006, 19:20 GMT

    Even if Yousuf surpaases Richard's record, he can not match his class. I dont mean to belittle his achievement but remember what Viv Richards achieved both for himself and his team in those days.

  • Riaz on November 23, 2006, 19:15 GMT

    I can totally agree with you, Kamran. Yousuf has been a superb cricketer this year and I'm very confident he'll have a century and then some, in the final Test. I'd love for a Pakistani player to set a record this year. It would put a good ending to a particularly bad year for the team both on and off the field.

    I do, however, want to stir the pot a little. I compared Yousuf to Ricky Ponting for their performances this year. And frankly, I think Yousuf has been a better Batsman that Ponting this year. Even before this series, Yousuf already had 5 centuries. But Ponting was declared the Player of the Year and Test Player of the Year awards. One of them should have gone to Yousuf. Conspiracy? Controversy? I'll let your mind wander around that.

    Just my two cents.

  • usman tahir on November 23, 2006, 19:07 GMT

    I wouldnt go too overboard with comparing the likes of Viv richards to Yousaf, although his accomplishments are great, he can never hope to come close to Viv richards until he performs well in difficult conditions and improves his running between wickets, which i must say is notoriously bad, worse then inzamam. Great effort nonetheless.

  • emran on November 23, 2006, 18:46 GMT

    M. Yousuf is having a tremendous year. I hope that he gets 150+ runs in karachi test and becomes the highest run getter in calender year. He is just a delight to watch. I pray for his best in the future.

  • ali on November 23, 2006, 18:21 GMT

    south africa is the last frontier really for yousuf. he has scored 2 very beautiful centuries against australia. i actually feel that he should score in south africa because the ball comes on and he does have a good technique. it seems that when its all said and done the man will have the most test runs. as a fan i always thought he had the most ability. now he has done justice to his great talent. but he does have a sense of flawed genius. the man cant judge a single.

  • No featured comments at the moment.

  • ali on November 23, 2006, 18:21 GMT

    south africa is the last frontier really for yousuf. he has scored 2 very beautiful centuries against australia. i actually feel that he should score in south africa because the ball comes on and he does have a good technique. it seems that when its all said and done the man will have the most test runs. as a fan i always thought he had the most ability. now he has done justice to his great talent. but he does have a sense of flawed genius. the man cant judge a single.

  • emran on November 23, 2006, 18:46 GMT

    M. Yousuf is having a tremendous year. I hope that he gets 150+ runs in karachi test and becomes the highest run getter in calender year. He is just a delight to watch. I pray for his best in the future.

  • usman tahir on November 23, 2006, 19:07 GMT

    I wouldnt go too overboard with comparing the likes of Viv richards to Yousaf, although his accomplishments are great, he can never hope to come close to Viv richards until he performs well in difficult conditions and improves his running between wickets, which i must say is notoriously bad, worse then inzamam. Great effort nonetheless.

  • Riaz on November 23, 2006, 19:15 GMT

    I can totally agree with you, Kamran. Yousuf has been a superb cricketer this year and I'm very confident he'll have a century and then some, in the final Test. I'd love for a Pakistani player to set a record this year. It would put a good ending to a particularly bad year for the team both on and off the field.

    I do, however, want to stir the pot a little. I compared Yousuf to Ricky Ponting for their performances this year. And frankly, I think Yousuf has been a better Batsman that Ponting this year. Even before this series, Yousuf already had 5 centuries. But Ponting was declared the Player of the Year and Test Player of the Year awards. One of them should have gone to Yousuf. Conspiracy? Controversy? I'll let your mind wander around that.

    Just my two cents.

  • sanwalyaar on November 23, 2006, 19:20 GMT

    Even if Yousuf surpaases Richard's record, he can not match his class. I dont mean to belittle his achievement but remember what Viv Richards achieved both for himself and his team in those days.

  • owais on November 23, 2006, 19:30 GMT

    hez gr8 A grd batsman dan viv richards Yousuf has beaten da richards record of highest centures in a year Yousuf scored 7 centuries in 10 matches while richard took 11 matches to complete his 7

  • ARKAN on November 23, 2006, 19:35 GMT

    I think a big plus that Yusuf has over Richards is his absolutely elegant style.while Richard no doubt was a genius-i shud say an allrounder genius-Yusuf is a BATSMAN. The way he organizes his shots especially the lofted Drive over Mid-off,the high back-lift,the inside-out punching of the balland the extravagant follow-thru of the bat- is a sight probably only rivaled in the cricket by Waqar's amazing reverse-swinging Scuds directed at the base of leg stumps.So i would always rate Yusuf as a much prolific batsman tht Ricahrds could ever have been.

  • awais on November 23, 2006, 19:53 GMT

    yousaf jst break the record of viv richard and reach the mile stone coz ur far most better den him as compare to todays cricket. pakistan middle order is nothing withour him.

  • Hussain on November 23, 2006, 20:39 GMT

    I remember in one of his interviews, Yousuf admitted Sir Richards was his favorite batsman and Murlitharan the most difficult bowler to face. I don't think it's fair to compare the two batsmen of different eras especially since Yousuf is not done with his career yet. Yousuf is the most elegant batsman I have ever seen. He has played in pressure situations before and in the past couple of years single handedly guided Pakistan to victories. When all is said and done, in my opinion, he wouldn't be far off from the likes of Waughs,Tendulkars,Laras and Richards.

  • Euceph Ahmed on November 23, 2006, 20:52 GMT

    Kamran, you very rightly sum it up in your last paragraph. Nonchalance has no place in today's world. Imagine what a mouthful of bubblegum, some bling around his neck, and cool sun shades to go with an arrogant attitude would have earned him. But with that long, black bush he doesn't stand a chance to be compared even with Aravinda DeSilva let alone Viv Richards and Ponting. With Naseem Ashraf introducing "enlightened moderation" in the cricket team, it can be argued that that long black bush will be one huge wall between Yousuf and the captaincy of Pakistan cricket team - something he rightfully deserves.

    I am a fan of his temperament more than anything else. Your use of the phrase "zen-like" describes it so beautifully that I wish I'd come with it :) . The tranquility that Yousuf brings to the team is so badly needed especially with all that goes on in the Pakistani dressing rooms.

    GO YOUSUF. The next threee years will belong to him. That is unless that long black bush doesn't become a cause for his downfall.