Younis Khan hit his 25th Test century as Pakistan fought back in the first Test against Australia.
Khan became the first Pakistani to score a ton against nine different nations, while also equalling former captain Inzamam ul-Haq’s record of the most centuries in Test cricket.
Following time away from the Pakistan squad for personal reasons, Khan was dropped from the Men in Green’s limited overs side, starting with the ODI series against the Aussies.
Proving a point
He warned the selectors he would prove them wrong, and he has certainly done that with a fine innings against one of the world’s best sides.
Without him, Pakistan lost the ODI series 3-0, but look much more of a threat with him in their ranks for the Test series. Captain Misbah-ul-Haq won the toss and opted to bat first, and Khan made the most of the wicket.
Nonetheless, he was made to wait for his century, taking 136 balls to even get his fifty. However, he demonstrated incredible patience in reaching the milestone.
The ton might make the Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) think twice about leaving him out of their fifty-over squad, particularly for the ICC World Cup next year.
Pakistan were reduced to 7-2 after wickets from Mitchell Johnson and Peter Siddle, and the extent to which the side relied on Khan for their revival is cause for concern if they are not planning to take him to Australia and New Zealand next year.
Following Khan’s fourth-wicket stand, the Men in Green found themselves with a far more respectable 219-4 at the close of play on day one.
“Sacrifice my future”
His century, which included ten fours, is yet another indicator that Khan intends to continue his international career, despite demanding that Pakistan don’t select him “even for Tests”, in an interview with ESPN Cricinfo.
Khan – who told the PCB he was “sacrificing (his) future” - has a strained relationship with chief selector and namesake Moin Khan, and that could prove an impediment to his future.
Though he remains part of the Test outfit, which he has been a key component of for almost 15 years – he, along with other veterans – is likely to now be discarded soon in favour of younger players.