Younis to lead Pak in Bangalore Test

PCB has managed to convince Younis Khan to captain the side for the Bangalore Test.

updated: December 08, 2007 16:23 IST
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New Delhi/ Bangalore:

While injury problems plague both the Pakistani team and the Indian team, Pakistan will heave a sigh of relief.

After reports came in that Younis Khan was unwilling to captain the side for the Bangalore Test, in the absence of Shoaib Malik, the PCB has managed to convince him to lead the team.

Younus, the centurion from the last Test had reportedly showed dissent because of some of the management decisions during the Kolkata Test.

Mohammad Yousuf had also reportedly refused the captaincy. With Shoaib Malik ruled out for the Bangalore Test, Younus was the automatic choice.

'I try to run away from captaincy'

In a candid admission on the eve of the third and final Test, stand-in Pakistan captain Younis Khan said here Friday that he always "tries to run away from captaincy", especially when the team plays against archrival India.

"I try to run away from captaincy as much as possible," Younis told reporters ahead of the crucial match at the M Chinnaswamy Stadium.

"But when it keeps coming back to me I have no option except to accept it," he said with a smile.

Younis, apparently peeved at not being "given" the XI of his choice in the second Test in Kolkata, had told the team management late Friday that he would not captain the side if he was not allowed to pick the XI for the Bangalore Test match.

The Kolkata Test ended in a draw, thanks mainly to Younis' brilliant rearguard century.

Younis had written in his newspaper column that he led a side that was "given to him", disassociating himself with "several decisions" taken by the team management.

He particularly disagreed with the choice of fast bowler Shoaib Akhtar, who insisted on playing despite not being fully fit in Kolkata.

"Even in the past, I have tried to run away from the captaincy because captaining teams like India or Pakistan ruins your life," he said, speaking in Urdu.

"I always try to smile and be relaxed because my batting is affected whenever I lead the team," he said, clearly making his dislike known for the tough job.

Younis had declined captaincy in the past too. He was offered the job following Inzamam-ul-Haq's retirement and then he was made vice-captain when Salman Butt, as Shoaib Malik's deputy, failed click as a batsman in the One-Day Internationals against South Africa before India tour.

"I wasn't vice-captain earlier. I was requested to take up the job for this series. Since this was a big series I felt I should accept it," he said.

The batsman from Mardan in the North West Frontier Region is, however, happy to recall his brilliant 267 in the third Test here in 2005 that played a big role in Pakistan's victory to draw the series.

The right-handed batsman has been particularly successful against India.

(With IANS inputs)