Pakistan captain Mohammad Yousuf has said he had requested Younis Khan to make himself available for the one-day series in Australia in January, after the Tests. Younis, the regular captain, backed out of the three-Test series in New Zealand because he wanted a break from international cricket but didn't figure in the squad for the three Tests in Australia, starting on December 26 in Melbourne.
"Yes, I did call up Younis because we have always been good friends and we have played a lot of cricket together," Yousuf told PTI. "I would definitely like to see Younis back in the team as soon as possible because he is a very experienced batsman and the team is missing him.
"We always got along well together and that is why I called him up to enquire about his plans. I am happy that he was very positive about resuming playing international cricket again."
Younis returned to domestic cricket by featuring in the Quaid-e-Azam Trophy final in which his team, Habib Bank, was routed by Karachi Blues by 141 runs inside three days. However, Younis failed to convince the selectors about his batting form as he made just 7 and 4.
Iqbal Qasim, the selection chairman, however made it clear that Younis will not be considered for the Tests but was optimistic of his chances of making the one-day squad, provided he impresses in the one-day Pentangular Cup.
"He can definitely make the one-day squad," Qasim said. "We have no doubt about his class and fitness but we need to give him some time to get over his poor form and start scoring runs again."
Looking ahead to the series, Yousuf was bullish about Pakistan's chances and backed the middle order to find some form.
"The fact that we played a close Test series in New Zealand is good for us and I am sure our experienced batsmen like Shoaib Malik and Misbah-ul-Haq will strike their best form soon," Yousuf said. "They just one need one long innings to get back their confidence. I know my boys can handle such pressure. We are looking forward to some close matches in Australia."