Younis’s form heading into the encounter at The Oval in 2016 was pedestrian with scores of 33, 25, 1, 28, 31 & 4. But with Pakistan trailing 2-1 in the four-Test series, he brought out his A-game, scoring a 218 that helped Pakistan gain a crucial first-innings lead of 214 runs, and eventually led to their 10-wicket win.
The former Pakistan middle-order batsman had since credited Azharuddin for his revival. “It was hard work for me, but I received a call before the game from Mohammad Azharuddin and he talked about my batting, stay in the crease. I trust other people and it worked for me,” he had said during the post-match presentations.
Azharuddin, while in conversation with Cricket Pakistan recently, thanked Younis for the acknowledgement and revealed what he had said back then. “I want to thank Younis for giving me credit,” he said. “I watched him bat on TV and he was playing in an ungainly way. Sometimes he was playing from outside the crease and sometimes he was trying other things.
“I didn’t like seeing a player, who has scored 10,000 runs, bat in this manner. So I called him up and advised him to stay still and inside the crease as it would be easier, and moving around makes it a bit tough.
“I know Younis since he made his debut in 2000. The first time he was selected, we were playing a game in Sharjah and he caught me in that match if I remember correctly. He is a very good friend, and a human being.”