“A player should have lots of cricket behind them before being selected for the top national team” – Pakistan batting coach Younis Khan

Younis Khan

Younis Khan

Pakistan batting coach Younis Khan has stated that picking players for Tests on the basis of their performance in T20Is and ODIs has hurt the team badly.

The former right-handed batsman’s statement came in the wake of nine uncapped players being selected for Pakistan’s upcoming two-match Test series against South Africa.

According to Younis Khan, players must work their way up through the domestic cricket circuit and earn a rightful place in the Pakistan Test team. He pointed out that most successful international teams feature players who have played over 100 first-class matches.

Speaking to ESPN Cricinfo in this regard, Younis Khan said:

“Ideally, a player should have lots of cricket behind them before being selected for the top national team. When we talk about other players from successful teams, they come with an excess of 100 first-class matches, and we are missing out on this.”

The 43-year-old further elaborated:

“We have so many players inducted into the team after playing T20I matches and ODIs so, in terms of Test cricket, it takes time to understand your role and transform your game accordingly from one format to another.”

Younis Khan also pointed out that during his playing days, the Pakistani cricketers used to play a lot of domestic games and test themselves in varied conditions. But things have changed now. He added:

“There is definitely a lack of cricket behind them (current players) when they are picked for the national side. We (Younis, Inzamam etc) used to play a lot of cricket from the top to grade 2 level and had more tough conditions overall. But these days it’s different, with a lot of players picked after one-off performances. But when they are selected too early, they are found out on the international stage, with a lot of weaknesses highlighted that are not apparent at the domestic level.”

Pakistan are under fire after losing 2-0 in the two-match Test series in New last month. The absence of Babar Azam due to an injury made matters worse for them.

Although Azam will be back for the South Africa series, he will have his task cut out. The first Test of the two-match series will start on 26th January.

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