November 13, 2009

Pakistan cricket

Will Yousuf succeed where Younis 'failed'?

Jamie Alter

The rumpus created by Younis Khan’s decision to abdicate the reins of leadership for the sake of ‘taking time off from the sport’ is simply too hard to digest, writes Khalid H Khan in the Pakistan daily Dawn. Younis was never really allowed to settle down into the job by a group of players with vested interests, but is Yousuf the best replacement?

Without being disrespectful to Yousuf, it’s a point worth noting that probably the most lethargic fielder in the current national team will lead the country while his deputy Kamran Akmal is a man who is known for ruining Pakistan’s victory hopes by crucial mistakes behind the timber. Where will Yousuf hide himself on the field will make compelling viewing on TV sets during the coming Tests in New Zealand? There is no guarantee that Yousuf will continue to lead Pakistan if the results of New Zealand Tests are not favourable enough.

An editorial in the same newspaper says it isn’t surprising that no one is buying the official line. Younis 'asked for a rest’ and that is why Yousuf was appointed captain of the Test team for the series against New Zealand. That explanation, not so cunningly, glosses over a key point: what compelled Younis to go into hibernation?

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Jamie Alter is a senior sub-editor at ESPNcricinfo

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