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A fourth-innings colossus

The major numbers for Younis Khan in Tests ESPNcricinfo Ltd

No Pakistan batsman has come within 1200 runs of Younis Khan's Test aggregate, or within eight hundreds of his tally. Only one, with a 1000-run cut-off, has a better average; no batsman anywhere in the world has managed as many fourth-innings hundreds and only two from Pakistan have won more Man-of-the-Match award in Tests.

During the first half of his career, Younis Khan played second fiddle to some of the more high-profile names like Saeed Anwar, Inzamam-ul-Haq and Mohammad Yousuf in the Pakistan batting line-up, but as he finally calls time on a 17-year Test career, there is little doubt that he belongs right up there among Pakistan's very best, and one of the great batsmen in world cricket in the last 25 years.

The run machine

Younis' ability to sustain an incredibly high level of excellence over a considerable period of time has been remarkable. After making a century on debut as a 22-year-old in 2000, there was a period when runs didn't come easy. Between his first and second Test hundreds, he scored only 168 runs in 11 innings, and by the end of 2004, he averaged a respectable - but far from imposing - 38.96 after 31 Tests.

From 2005, though, Younis 2.0 took centrestage. In the 11-year period between January 2005 and December 2015, he averaged a staggering 60.41 from 133 innings, with 25 hundreds. Among the 64 batsmen who scored 2000-plus runs during this period, only Kumar Sangakkara had a marginally better average. If the cut-off were to be increased to 4000 runs, Younis and Misbah-ul-Haq, who is also retiring after the third Test against West Indies, feature in the top five.

His numbers have dropped off a bit in the last 16 months, but he has still managed a double-hundred in England and an unbeaten 175 in Australia during this period, and a fairly healthy average of 40.43.

Those hundreds he has scored even when not being at his best point towards his huge appetite for runs, and his ability to make starts count, aspects that Pakistan will be sorely miss. Only five batsmen have more double-hundreds in Tests, and Younis' ratio of 3.44 matches per hundred is better than all except three batsmen among those with 20-plus hundreds - Don Bradman (1.79), Steven Smith (2.70), and Matthew Hayden (3.43).

Younis is also one of only five batsmen - among those with 20 or more hundreds - to have more centuries than half-centuries. Bringing the bar slightly lower to 15 hundreds and two others make the cut - Virat Kohli (16 hundreds, 14 fifties) and Clyde Walcott (15, 14), while two others have exactly as many hundreds as fifties - Steven Smith (20 each) and Michael Vaughan (18 each).

The unbeaten 175 in Australia also made him the first player to score at least one century in 11 countries, including the UAE. He has 11 hundreds there, seven in Pakistan, three each in Bangladesh, India and Sri Lanka, two in England, and one each in the remaining five countries.

The matchwinner

In the 117 Tests Younis has played leading up to his last game, Pakistan have won exactly as many as they have lost - 45 each. In wins, he has scored 68% more runs and almost thrice as many hundreds as he has in defeats, while the average goes up by almost 131% - from 32.89 in defeats, to 75.89 in wins. Among batsmen with 3000-plus runs in wins, only three - Don Bradman, Inzamam-ul-Haq, and Garry Sobers - have a higher average, while only six batsmen have scored more than 19 hundreds in Test wins.

Nineteen hundreds in 45 Tests works out to a century every 2.37 Tests, which ranks third in the all-time list among the 41 batsmen who have scored 10 or more hundreds in wins. Only Bradman and Steven Smith have done better. Among Pakistan batsmen, the next-best ratio is Inzamam's 17 hundreds in 49 matches, while Javed Miandad had 10 in 39, and Mohammad Yousuf eight in 34 Tests.

Of the six times Younis made 200 or more in an innings, Pakistan won five games, which in a nutshell illustrates the importance of the runs he scored. (The only exception was when Younis made his highest Test score of 313 against Sri Lanka in Karachi in 2009; that Test ended in a draw.) Of the 26,714 runs Pakistan scored in the Test wins when Younis played, his contribution was 4857, a percentage of 18.18. Only Bradman has a higher percentage of team runs in wins, among the batsmen with 3000-plus runs in victories.

And then there are the 10 Man-of-the-Match awards Younis has won in his Test career, the most among all specialist batsmen for Pakistan, and the third-highest in their all-time list: only Wasim Akram (17) and Imran Khan (11) are ahead of him. Younis' numbers compare favourably with Inzamam (nine in 119 games) and Yousuf (seven in 90).

Saving the best for last

Arguably Younis greatest performance in Test cricket came in the fourth innings against Sri Lanka in Pallekele in 2015. With the series level at 1-1, Pakistan fell behind by 63 after the first innings, and were set an imposing fourth-innings target of 377. Younis walked in with Pakistan floundering at 13 for 2, and ended up conjuring one of the most remarkable fourth-innings displays ever. He finished on an unbeaten 171 - the fifth-highest Test score in a successful run-chase - as Pakistan sealed the Test and the series in style.

That was the fifth fourth-innings hundred for Younis in his Test career, and while he hasn't done much in fourth innings thereafter - his last seven such innings have fetched only 132 - his century count is still one more than anyone else's. And he is one of only six batsmen who have scored 1000-plus runs at a 50-plus average in the fourth innings.

The Younis-Misbah partnership

Younis' loss in the middle order will be huge for Pakistan, but as if that wasn't enough, they will also have to cope with the loss of Misbah after the series in the West Indies. Together, the pair has been a pillar of strength in the middle order, repeatedly bailing the team out after early wickets.

In the 66 Tests that both Younis and Misbah played, they batted together 52 times, and scored 3205 partnership runs at an average of nearly 70 runs per stand. Given that Pakistan scored a total of 35,986 runs in the games that both Younis and Misbah played in, the pair has contributed 8.9% of Pakistan's total, in terms of partnership runs. To put that in perspective, the Tendulkar-Dravid pair contributed 8.4% of India's runs, while Sangakkara-Jayawardene made 9.6% of Sri Lanka's runs.

Younis and Misbah batted together only 52 times in Tests, but in those 52 partnerships they put together 15 century stands, which is fifth highest among all pairs in Tests. The Tendulkar-Dravid partnership had 20 century stands, but they batted together 143 times, which is an average of 7.15 innings per century partnership, compared to the Younis-Misbah average of 3.47 innings.

Among the 38 pairs who have scored 3000 or more partnership runs in Tests, only four have done so at a higher average, and three have a better ratio of innings per century stand. Among the other prominent Asian pairs, Younis-Misbah have a higher average than Tendulkar-Ganguly (61.36), Inzamam-Yousuf (56.84), Jayawardene-Sangakkara (56.50), Dravid-Ganguly (53.12), and Tendulkar-Dravid (50.51).

Individually and together, Younis and Misbah have been huge pillars of strength for Pakistan's batting line-up. Replacing them will be an onerous task for Pakistan's selectors.