Younis likely to return in ODI series against Australia


Karachi : Former Pakistan skipper Younis Khan is likely to make a comeback in the one-day series against Australia which begins in Brisbane from January 22.

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Younis, 32, decided to opt out of the Test tour of New Zealand last month after leading Pakistan to a 1-2 one-day series defeat against the Kiwis in Abu Dhabi. He also made himself unavailable for the tour of Australia which got underway Friday as he wanted a break from the international cricket.

“I will definitely play for my country again as it is always an honour to play in national colours,” Younis told reporters at the National Cricket Academy in Lahore Friday.

“I will return to action in a couple of days,” said the middle-order batsman who is set to lead Habib Bank Limited (HBL) in the final of the Quaid-e-Azam Trophy – Pakistan’s premier domestic tournament – starting in Karachi from December 21. He has also shown an interest in featuring in the Pentangular Cup, getting underway from January 1.

National selectors are considering the idea of recalling Younis for the one-day series against Australia. Younis had a chat with chief selector Iqbal Qasim at the National Cricket Academy in Lahore earlier this week in which he expressed his keenness to return to the domestic circuit.

“I had a discussion with him (Younis) recently and believe that he is in a positive frame of mind,” said Iqbal Qasim. “Younis has made up his mind to play in the Quaid-e-Azam Trophy final as well as the Pentangular Cup and that is a good sign.”

Iqbal, a former Pakistan Test spinner, said it might be too late to consider Younis for the Tests against Australia but was quick to add that he would be in serious contention for the one-day series which will kick off in Brisbane from January 22.

“”We already have 16 players in Australia and will be sending another man there soon,” he added referring to Pakistan’s decision to send fast bowler Mohammad Sami as a reinforcement player to Australia ahead of the Test series.

“But once Younis plays in the domestic matches then he would certainly be considered for the one-day series (against Australia),” Iqbal said.

Younis also showered praise on Mohammad Yousuf, the man who replaced him as Pakistan captain, for his performance in the recently-concluded Test series against New Zealand.

Yousuf, who was named captain only for the Test series against New Zealand was later asked to lead Pakistan in Australia as well.

“Yousuf did a great job as a captain in New Zealand and he was also looking more responsible as a senior batsman,” Younis said.