Pakistan v Sri Lanka, 2nd Test, Lahore February 28, 2009

Younis keeps expectations low

Cricinfo staff


Younis Khan: "My expectation from Salman Butt, Shoaib Malik, Misbah-ul-Haq, Umar Gul, Kamran Akmal and Faisal Iqbal is that they step up" © AFP
 

Younis Khan, the Pakistan captain, has no expectations of a series win from his young side when it meets Sri Lanka for the second Test in Lahore on Sunday and will focus on having his players work together. Pakistan have retained the XII from the first Test in Karachi but Younis said fast bowler Mohammad Talha could replace Sohail Khan in the match.

"Except for me and Danish [Kaneria], the rest of the players' Test match experience is nowhere near to [Muttiah] Muralitharan's," Younis said. Sohail, who made his debut in the first Test, went wicketless for 164 runs on a dead pitch where the two sides aggregated 1553 runs, and Pakistan's choice for Lahore is between him and newcomer Talha, who has had an impressive domestic season.

Younis said Pakistan had to push Sri Lanka on the back foot like they did on the fifth day in Karachi, where the visitors lost five wickets with a lead of just 23. "If you look at Murali, he bowled around 60 overs and conceded not more than 2.5 runs an over, and so did Mendis. In our 249 overs we scored around three an over but when we bowled we conceded over four. We have to start from zero, put on partnerships in bowling, batting and fielding. Then it will be a good result."

Younis expected Sri Lanka to be aggressive in what will be Mahela Jaywardene's final Test as captain and he called on his senior players to raise their performances by a level. "I'm an aggressive captain and I try to remain aggressive. Maybe if I win the toss tomorrow, I'll bat. My expectation from Salman Butt, Shoaib Malik, Misbah-ul-Haq, Umar Gul, Kamran Akmal and Faisal Iqbal is that they step up." He said Jayawardene had refused his offer for a guard of honour for him during the match.