By Yasir Hashmi from Luton
As the 2015 ICC Cricket World Cup is only a few days away, Pakistan is still looking to find the right combination. The 15-men squad has already been finalised and the fans should support the selected players but a number of question marks are being raised on the inclusion of a few individuals. Among a few others, former Pakistan captain Younis Khan’s selection for the mega event is considered controversial by many sporting analysts.
Over the years, Younis has been a great servant of Pakistan in Test cricket, having scored more than eight thousand runs including 28 centuries, the most by any Pakistani. At the same time, it is also a reality that the right-handed batsman has never been an exceptional performer in the shorter formats of the game.
Below are eight undeniable facts to prove that the 37-year-old cricketer’s place in the world cup squad is unjustified: 1 – In the three World Cups and as many Champions Trophies Younis has played in his career so far (24 matches), he has scored just 2 fifties (which includes one against Kenya) and averages less than 20 runs per innings in ICC’s 50-over events. 2 – In nine matches he played in Australia, the right-hander averages 18.3 runs per innings and in his eight matches played in New Zealand, he averages less than 20 runs per innings. Overall he has scored just one fifty in 17 matches in Australia and New Zealand. 3 – In his comeback ODI series against the Black Caps in the United Arab Emirates, the cricketer from Mardan managed to score just 160 runs (including a century in a losing cause) in five matches with an average of 32, which was surely not enough to secure a place in the world cup squad, considering his past record in ODIs. 4 – Younis averages less than 30 runs per innings in ODIs against every single non-Asian Test-playing nation except Zimbabwe against whom he averages more than 50 runs per innings. He averages 15 runs per innings against Australia. 5 – Out of all the batsmen named in the 30-men preliminary squad for the illustrious competition, Younis possesses the worst record in List A cricket.
6 – An overall career average of less than 32 runs per innings in 261 matches speaks out loud that he is extremely ordinary in the 50-over format. Only Asad Shafiq, Mohammad Hafeez and Sharjeel Khan have worse batting averages in ODIs. If you do not consider Younis’ record against minnows like Zimbabwe, Kenya, Hong Kong and Afghanistan, his ODI record will become even more embarrassing. 7 – Pakistan had to leave out Fawad Alam due to Younis’ selection, although the left-hander has a far superior ODI batting average than Younis. 8 – In 15 years of international cricket, the legendary Test batsman has scored just one ODI century outside Asia and that too was eight years ago.
There is no doubt that Pakistan does not have a high-quality batting line-up in ODIs but the above-mentioned reasons prove that Younis’ presence will only make the matters worse. Instead of becoming a burden on the green shirts, Younis should have limited himself to Test cricket by now as it would have made it easier for selectors to try young blood.
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