Babar Azam has potential to be a legend like Kohli, says Younis

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11 Jun 2020 | 06:22 AM
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Babar Azam has potential to be a legend like Kohli, says Younis

Younis was on Tuesday (9th June) appointed as Pakistan's batting coach for the three-Test and three-T20I tour of England starting July 30

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Former Pakistan captain Younis Khan doesn't believe in comparisons but feels young Babar Azam has the potential to become a legend of the game, like Virat Kohli in five years time.

Younis, the newly-appointed batting coach of Pakistan, described Kohli as the top batsman of modern-day cricket, but said Azam has the capability of breaking many batting records.

"I don't like these comparisons. Look at Kohli he is at the top of his game right now. He is without any doubt the top batsman today and has performed in all formats," the 42-year-old told reporters.

"Babar has also performed in all formats in recent times but the way I look at it, where Kohli is today, what he has achieved until now, Babar will be there in five years time.

"I would say after four five years if we make comparisons that would be more suitable," he added.

Younis said at 25, Babar had achieved a lot for his age.

"But I don't think we should create so many expectations around him. We need to give him space and time if he is to go ahead and match greats like Sachin Tendulkar or Javed Miandad," he said.

As a batting coach, Younis said he would like to work on the mental side of Babar's game.

"I would love to see Babar achieve many more great things and become a legend. I want to see him surpass me and my records."

Asked about his temperamental problems and past run-ins with the cricket authorities, Younis said over the years he had learnt a lot from his experience.

"I can assure you I carry no ego problems with me. I have always felt ego should be in your performances and not behaviour. Over the years I have curbed my aggression and tried to be more humble and learn to give more," he said.

Younis made it clear that at the moment his contract was only for the tour of England.

"I am someone who likes to be respected and who wants everything in black and white. I want to know what my domain is and what I am required to do. When I was satisfied by the PCB on these things I accepted the challenge."

Younis, who appeared in 118 Tests and 265 ODIs, is Pakistan's only batsman to cross 10,000 runs in Test cricket.

Pakistan tour of England 'significant' in view of global situation: Younis

Younis described Pakistan's upcoming tour of England as significant for world cricket in view of the global health crisis but said it would be difficult for the players to adjust to the changed conditions.

Younis was on Tuesday (9th June) appointed as Pakistan's batting coach for the three-Test and three-T20I tour of England starting July 30.

"The coming series is important in many ways but to me it is significant because of the existing situation. The world will be watching the series between two top sides. Tours to England have always been important for us," he said.

Younis said it will be difficult for the players to get back to playing cricket with the new set of Standard Operating Procedures due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

"It is not easy for any player to let go of old habits. It will be difficult with the social distancing rules in place whether you are travelling, in the team bus or even in the dressing room.

"I think more than ever, the role of the support staff is going to be very important as to how they help the players. The support staff now has a big role to play," he added.

Younis, said he can bring improvement in batting of the players with his experience and skills.

Reminded that former captain Mohammad Yousuf had claimed recently that when a group of players revolted against his captaincy in 2009, current head coach Misbah-ul-Haq was apparently the mastermind, Younis said for him "past is past".

"I don't know the real picture to be honest, but I go by the time I spent with Misbah when we were playing together, he was captain and we got along very well. Both of us retired in the same series and on a winning note when Pakistan won a Test series in West Indies for the first time in 2017," Younis said.

"I want to share the dressing room with Misbah as a colleague and support staff and I have forgotten about what happened in the past. I have moved on. I am happy that Misbah pushed me for this position so soon after taking over as head coach, he said.

He said he was happy to be on board the national team.

"This is a new role for me and I want to make my contribution to Pakistan cricket.

Younis said Pakistan have a relatively young batting side except for Azhar Ali and Asad Shafiq, so he will have a lot of work to do.

He said he had learnt a lot from playing under top coaches like Javed Miandad and Bob Woolmer.

I would like to emulate Bob who was a great coach. He used to give us space and just worked on our mental side to make us more productive and he succeeded in that. I have learnt how to make a player more productive without tinkering with his technique or skills.

Younis also said he would be equally comfortable in all three formats.

Luckily I got a chance to play a lot of T20 cricket and we won the World Cup under my captaincy at a time when everyone doubted whether I was fit for the shorter format."

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PakistanMohammad Babar AzamMohammad Younis KhanVirat Kohli

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