Pakistan should win 'with or without' Babar Azam: Younis Khan

The 43-year-old emphasised the need for viable replacements

Pakistan should win 'with or without' Babar Azam: Younis Khan PHOTO COURTESY: PCB

Pakistan’s batting coach Younis Khan, while speaking at a virtual press conference on Wednesday, claimed that the Men in Green should win even without the services of their captain and prolific batsman Babar Azam.

The 43-year-old emphasised the need for viable replacements while stating that Babar’s absence does not mean that Pakistan should lose.

“We should not rely on Babar Azam alone. We need to have proper replacements. Pakistan will have to take advantage of the home conditions against South Africa. The new players need to be given confidence.  Babar is a big player. The captain and most important player being unfit led to an unsuccessful series against New Zealand. If Babar Azam is not available, that does not mean we should lose,” Khan said.

Pakistan’s batting coach believed that the Men in Green should be able to take advantage of the home conditions against South Africa while stressing the need of providing confidence to the young players in the side.

“Pakistan should have an advantage over South Africa in Karachi due to the home conditions. The pitch in Karachi has always been supportive. It favours both batsmen and bowlers alike. It supports spin while swing comes into play later in the day. Pakistan will have to score big in their first innings. This would help our bowlers significantly. You have to win at least six to seven sessions in a game to win it. We will need to give time and confidence to the new players. They should not be wasted if they fail to perform well,” he said.

“We will have to trust them and not remove them after just a few performances. The players will have to work hard. The responsibility to perform rests on the players themselves and the coaches can only guide them. Intruding too much can lead to the player being in two minds. Coaches should also be accountable however and should be beneficial for players,” he added.

Khan asked the media to criticise his performance in his role without resorting to personal attacks.

“Players should never discuss what happens in the dressing room with the media. We could have performed better in England. After the New Zealand series, a lot of criticism was received by bowling coach Waqar Younis.  I should also be criticised as the batting coach. My shortcomings should be brought forward however it should not be personal attacks. The players and coaches should also be praised for good performances. In today’s world, players are under more pressure because of excess workload. Players should be allowed a certain level of freedom and ownership which can improve their performances. Players should get extended chances for at least three to four series,” he said.

“All players are like my kids. This upcoming series is a great chance for all players involved. It is uplifting that cricket is being played in our country. This is not the time to talk about the domestic structure but a time to support the team before a crucial series and try to raise their confidence,” he concluded.