Younus Khan refused to captain the Pakistan side twice by saying: “I don’t want to be a dummy captain.” On paper and in theory it sounded very impressive that this man has the guts to say that he does not like to be under someone’s thumb.
Now, what made him change from refusing to be a dummy and acting like a dummy? It is very obvious from his statements to the media, pre and post match comments that he wants to keep the whole world happy. He has clearly mentioned that he cannot drop Misbah and Malik despite the fact they are not performing well, especially Misbah simply because one is a former captain and the other is a vice captain and if he does that, the media will be after him. It means he is scared of the media and not doing justice with team selection.
By now even a school kid who plays cricket can say with authority that the UAE pitches are favouring spin bowling. Australia’s weakness is spin bowling, Pakistan’s weakness is its batting. Pakistan has the advantage of strengthening its batting and spin bowling department by including Fawad Alam in the team. He has been in the squad only to sit on the bench or we saw him as a 12th man in the 4th ODI.
Australian batsmen are used to playing fast bowlers, as they have one of the best fast bowling battery in their team and they are not afraid of fast bowling. But, they are finding it extremely difficult to handle Afridi and Ajmal, even Malik bowled well in the 3rd ODI. So, any dummy captain would notice this weakness and take advantage of the situation. But, Younus Khan in his pursuit to keep the whole world happy is blinded by his goody, goody nature.
He has become a laughing stock among the commentators and cricket fans that you ask Younus Khan, ‘how are you?’ He would reply. ” I am happy, I am always happy, no matter what I am happy.” It is good that you are a happy go lucky (rather unlucky so far) person, but on the ground you have to be firm and tolerate no nonsense from any player who under performs or play below par.
Just because Shoaib Akhtar is a senior player and carries a lot of clout behind him and in the 4th ODI he took two wickets in his first two overs, he got a free hand after that, he was clearly out of breath and couldn’t maintain his line and length and in the fielding department he was making a mess of the situation and Younus Khan was seen laughing at his pathetic fielding. This is not what you expect from a good captain. If you can’t admonish him on the field, take action against him later and drop him from the playing XI.
Mishab is totally out of form like he was for the rest of his life prior to the T20 WC stint. In the 4th ODI, he was out first ball, but umpire Aleem Dar said, he couldn’t hear the nick and did not give him out. Despite a life Misbah continued his poor form, played a very slow innings and scored 30 odd runs.
Younus Khan’s own batting form is simply pathetic he has not been able to score in any match during this series and yet he has the audacity and the cheek to say, ‘we are learning.’ Learning how to loose? This is pathetic. Malik was heavily criticized for saying the same thing after loosing a match, ‘we are learning’ and the irony is they also call themselves as professionals.
Professionals don’t learn at this level, the deliver and the Pakistani captains consider these international matches as a learning place? It is indeed very pathetic.
During this series Shahid Afridi not only performed well with ball and bat, but he was seen encouraging, cheering, bucking up every single player. In fact he took the lead role which Younus Khan and Misbah are supposed to do. He was going with the bowlers before their run up and talking to them. He was seen congratulating Ajmal, Malik, Akhtar and even Akmal whenever they took a wicket or a catch. He was also seen very upset at Shoaib Akhtar’s lazy running in fetching the ball and clearly gave him the message that he is not happy with his fielding.
This is how a captain must be leading from the front and not just laughing, smiling and saying I am happy. May be you are trying to cover your embarrassment or may be you are really happy but the Pakistani public and fans are not happy upon loosing 3 matches in a row. The second ODI was given away to the Australians in a platter. After a 95 run opening partnership the team collapsed like a house of cards. Its a shame that none of the batsmen played well.
The question is, is Pakistan going to look for another captain? Or, are they will keep Younus Khan who says he is not a dummy captain, but certainly acting like one. Or, if they decide to replace him, who would be the new captain? There is no one better than Shahid Afridi not just because of his seniority but because of his temperament and his ability to lead from the front and his proven domestic record speaks in volumes. Therefore, it is about time for Pakistan to give Shahid Afridi a chance to lead the team Pakistan in the forth coming T20 World Cup. And Younus Khan is definitely a misfit for T20 and so is Salman Butt. May be Younus Khan should lead the test side but, if that is going to effect his batting then he should better not lead the test team as well.
What are your views on Younus Khan’s Captaincy, please go ahead and speak your heart out. For sure, my vote is for Afridi.