Pakistan stars are thrilled at the addition of Mushtaq Ahmed and Younis Khan in the backroom staff for the upcoming tour of England in which they will play three Tests and as many T20Is in August-September.
The presence of Younis – the batting coach for the tour – further strengthens the support staff, which also includes head coach Misbah-ul-Haq and fast bowling Waqar Younis, as the squad is likely include up to 25 players for both the formats.
Pakistan’s last two Test series in England – in 2016 and 2018 – ended in draws. For this much-anticipated series, which has crucial World Test Championship points attached to it, the Pakistan players are eager to make the most of the star-studded backroom staff.
Pakistan Test captain Azhar Ali, who accumulated 2,628 runs with Younis in 48 innings, said: “I have been fortunate to play a number of Tests with Younis. In my books, he is one of the best non-England batsmen to perform consistently and score heavily in English conditions in the past two decades.
“With a great technique, mental strength and match assessment, he not only dominated the opposition on the field but off the field as well. I think this offers an excellent opportunity for the emerging and younger batsmen to learn from Younis during a pressure series than they will ever learn during a training camp or an off-season.
“On a personal note, it gives me great confidence that in Misbah-ul-Haq, Mushtaq, Waqar Younis and Younis, there will be a collective experience of 332 Tests sitting in the backroom on which I can fall for guidance and support. I don’t recall we have ever gone into a series as well equipped as this one, which will surely brighten up our chances.”
Opener Shan Masood, who struck his first Test century during a match-winning partnership with Younis in Pallekele in 2015 (Pakistan’s record chase), said: “I am very excited at the news of Younis being appointed as our batting coach and it is a great step to reap the services of one of Pakistan’s best.
“Personally, I have always had a student-mentor relationship with him, having played with him in domestic teams and, more importantly, in the Pakistan team. The fact that we will all be sharing a dressing room with him excites me, as there is so much experience to draw from.
“While as a player, Younis always loved helping his peers. Often, he spent more time on other players than he did on himself and seeing him in this role means we will have access to the knowledge of someone who has been so successful at the highest level.”