Karachi: At times even heaves of experience doesn’t seem enough to rectify a minor technical flaw in an athlete but a piece of advice from a senior pro works. This is what exactly happened to Pakistan’s senior batsman Younis Khan who was out of sorts in the first three test matches of the recently concluded series against England. In the last Test match, at the Oval, Younis Khan bounced back to stroke a match winning double ton.
After receiving the man-of-the-match award, Younis Khan credited his performance to the former India skipper, Mohammad Azharuddin who, Younis said, called him up prior to the Oval test and advised for slight adjustment. “I received a call before the game from India, from Mohammad Azharuddin, and he talked about my batting, (told me to) stay in the crease”, Younis Khan, who played a 218-run knock, said.
This tips’ imparting gesture from seniors is not an usual practice, in fact Azharuddin was himself pulled out of bad run of form by a former Pakistani great Zaheer Abbas. In an exclusive chat with ‘scoreline.org’, a few weeks ago, Zaheer Abbas recalled his interesting interaction with Azharuddin. “In 1989, Azharuddin was in Pakistan with the India team, he used to visit me frequently to ask for a bat or a pair of gloves etc. I was a little curious and thought Azhar was probably a superstitious”, Zaheer Abbas recalled
“Upon inquiry he (Azhar) discussed a shortcoming and sought guidance. I only advised him to alter the way of gripping the bat-handle and it worked for him”, Zaheer Abbas said.
Zaheer Abbas, who earned the title of ‘Asian Bradman’ for his prolific batting, further said that Azharuddin later relayed the same tips to Sri Lanka’s Aravinda de Silva as well. “Aravinda, on a tour to Pakistan, came to see me and touched my feet in respect. Of course it was a surprise for me”, Zaheer Abbas added
“Aravinda told me that Azharuddin imparted the same tips to him, which I gave to Azhar and it worked for Aravinda too”, Zaheer Abbas concluded.