© Getty Images
Younis Khan averages a mere 20.33 on the England tour  © Getty Images

One of Pakistan‘s most dependent and trustworthy batsmen in the last decade or so, Younis Khan from being a national hero, is currently turning out to be the team’s most ridiculed batsmen. Known for his tenacity and responsibility, Younis has been more than a disappointment for the team on their current England tour. The situation is such, that Younis’s second tour of England could very well be his last and final Test appearance for Pakistan. Given the horrid time Younis is having with the bat, it causes immense pain to see a batsmen of his calibre clamber against James Anderson, Stuart Broad and Steven Finn. Full Cricket Scorecard, England  vs  Pakistan , 4th Test match

Younis in the 8 Tests he played between January 2015 to January 2016 amassed 789 runs at an impressive average of 60.69, which is better than his career average. In the 8 Tests he featured in, 3 were against England in the UAE, where he almost averaged 50.33. Younis along with skipper Misbah-ul-Haq & Shoaib Malik were the mainstay of Pakistan’s batting. Younis’s 31st Test hundred against England at UAE is fondly remember by his fans, as it helped Pakistan take a 2-0 series lead. Younis scored heavily on the on-side, collecting as many 72 runs out off his 118-run knock. He played Anderson and Broad with ease. And he never looked fidgety at the crease.

With an inexperienced batting side traveling to England, the onus then, was on Younis to lead the path and calm the nervous bunch with time in the middle. He started the tour with a bang, notching up a hundred against Somerset in the team’s first warm-up game, and carried his form with another half-century in the second, against Sussex. With his bat yielding runs left,right and centre the warning shots had been fired towards the England bowlers. It looked like Younis was relishing his batting against the counties, and was eager to make his mark, when the series gets underway. ALSO READ: Moeen Ali: England’s unsung hero in Tests

Then the first Test at Lord’s started. The wicket offered a good batting track and suited the Pakistani batsmen much more than England. Younis after batting for 73-balls gave his wicket away in a very cruel fashion. Trying to flick the ball, he gave a simple catch to square-leg. In the second innings, Younis perished after a 95-ball 25, geting bowled by Moeean Ali. In both the innings, he looked set for a big one, but faltered. However, Pakistan won the match and all eyes which were on Younis weathered away for the time being.

A player who relies on his bottom-hand and coordination, Younis looked lost like a small boy in a carnival in the second and third Test at Old Trafford and Edgbaston respectively. What was surprising was the fact that Younis had. had a disaster if a stay at the wicket in all the four innings. He looked looked unsettled, untidy and unsure about his technique, right from the start. Something which has served him 9.238 Test runs in a 16-year old career. It looked like he had started to doubt his footwork and defense, as he tried to dance or rather ballet his way out of tough situations. His swivel from middle stump to outside off was surprising for all to see.

Now, with just 64 runs from four innings, Younis is clearly under the pump and will need to show a much-needed resolute to keep his own superbia in order. Important thing for Younis is to rekindle back to his old technique of playing the ball on its merit, and using precision and neatness in his batting style again.

With Pakistan in trouble in the fourth and final Test at The Oval, it is perhaps the right time for Younis to stage his final swansong in England. He has the perfect opportunity to make amends of all the mistakes on this tour, a substantial knock can only add to his already legendary career for Pakistan. With a tough and demanding tour of New Zealand, followed by Australia coming up later in the year, Younis’ experience and knowledge becomes premium to the fortunes of Pakistan. If and only if, Younis conflagrates his resilient and fluid batting against England in the fourth Test, will the world once again marvel the genius of his batsmenship.

(Vishal Mehra is a reporter at CricketCountry, who enjoys his weekly dose of anime, and plays cricket once a white moon. His twitter handle is @capturethecatch )