After breaking the 22-year-old record of Javed Miandad to become Pakistan’s leading Test run-scorer, Younis Khan said he has the hunger to aim for the 10,000-run mark.
Younis went past Miandad’s tally of 8832 runs in emphatic style when he lofted Moeen Ali over deep midwicket shortly after tea on the opening day in Abu Dhabi. Given the prolific 12 months he has had – averaging over 80 since last October – the expectation was of something significant but he was not at his most fluent and chipped Stuart Broad to short mid-on for 38.
But Younis was relieved to have ticked off the milestone, saying that it had been on his mind since he moved within touching distance during the series against Sri Lanka earlier this year.
“I kept on thinking about crossing Javed bhai, the greatest batsman Pakistan had. I might not be as skilful as he was but I am feeling privileged to cross him. Due credit should also be given to him because he is the one whom I have been following and heeding his advice to make it possible.”
Younis admitted he was nervous as the landmark approached, describing Miandad’s two decade-old record as like a “wall” in front of him that he had to “jump” to get across.
“I had to push myself,” he said. “The last two weeks had been difficult because of fatigue, traveling and that’s the reason I just went with fast-forwarding mode and wanted to just do it at once.”
With one weight lifted from his shoulders, Younis is now refocussing himself for a final push in the closing stages of his career although he said he felt he had at least two more years left in him at international level.
“I am not satisfied yet and I don’t want to be complacent with these records. I feel I can do more than this,” he said. “Every day is a new day, every innings is a new one and every moment in the game is a new one so I think of all the advice from Javed bhai. I don’t want to relax and want to carry on with my runs.
“Someday I might be satisfied with my goals and achievements but I am pushing myself for more. I believe in next the two years if I remain in the same mode I see myself bigger than this and would like to score 10,000 runs.”
Ahead of the first Test against England, Pakistan captain Misbah-ul-Haqpaid tribute to Younis’ role as a fulcrum of the middle order.
“It’s always an honour to share dressing room with players like Younis Khan,” he said. “He has always been the key man in the Pakistan sides, so important for our wins and has been doing well for the last few years. He is really performing well with an average of 54 which is great and we always love the way he plays and the way he helps every other player, especially the youngsters and it’s an honour to play with him.”
The other player Younis overtook, Inzamam-ul-Haq, narrowly failed to take the record off Miandad in 2007 when he was stumped for 3 in his final Test innings against South Africa in Lahore.