Karachi: Pakistan's cricket community of former Test players are in favour of the national team management playing senior batsman Younis Khan in the World Cup quarter-final against Australia in Adelaide on Friday.
The Pakistan think-tank had sidelined Younis for the last game against Ireland in order bring in Haris Sohail, even though the senior batsman struck some form with a resilient 37 against South Africa while batting at number three.
But on Tuesday former players pleaded for the inclusion of Younis against Australia.“I think the pressure Younis will have on the Australians batting at number three no other batsman in the team can have certainly not Haris Sohail,” former Pakistan captain Rameez Raja told Geo News channel.
He pointed out that Pakistan would need the experience of Younis against Australia in the high-pressure match.The cricketer-turned-commentator opined that with Pakistan's opening problem resolved due to the form of Ahmed Shehzad and Sarfraz Ahmed this was the best time to play Younis at number three.
Rameez also felt that the Misbah-ul-Haq-led side can beat Australia as they had gotten used to playing in Adelaide and the co-hosts would feel the pressure of the home crowd.
“Pakistan has a very high chance of reaching the semi-finals because they have sustained and performed under pressure in the group matches and they should now play without any pressure against Australia,” he said.
The former opener also batted for wicketkeeper-batsman Sarfraz.“Before this World Cup I had mentioned three game changers for Pakistan and one of them was Sarfraz. I don't think there was any ego problem on part of Waqar (Younis) not to play Sarfraz but yes I think the captain and coach failed to recognise the fighting qualities of Sarfraz.
“Sarfraz is not my relative nor lives in Lahore but yet I have been speaking for him because I believe he is essential for this team. And that is why I am also pushing for the inclusion of leg spinner, Yasir Shah I see no valid reason for not playing him.”