Younis Khan has opined that top-order batsman Babar Azam is perfectly able to replace him in the Test squad, declaring that “Babar Azam will be the next Younis Khan”.
In a recent interview, Younis said, “I think Babar Azam will be the next Younis Khan. I think he’s extremely stylish and he has the potential.”
The 40-year-old further suggested Babar to work on his fitness. “If he [Babar Azam] works on his fitness, he will perform very well for Pakistan,” he advised.
Younis played his last international match 12 months ago, and since then Pakistan have lost a Test series against Sri Lanka and defeated Ireland in their historic debut in the five-day format.
They next come up against England in a two-match series Younis thinks will be important to blood the future of Pakistan cricket.
And he earmarked Babar, who has made 548 runs in 12 Tests so far in his fledgling career, as a player who has the potential to become a star.
Younis retired at the same time as fellow legend Misbah-ul-Haq, but he is confident there are enough emerging players coming through to carry the team forward.
“They will handle it. People have a lot of concerns about this [struggling to cope with the pressure] but I think they will be okay,” he added.
“Babar is growing up and he performs not only in the one-dayers and Twenty20 games, he performs everywhere.
“So, I think they will be able to handle these kinds of conditions and I think Pakistan is in a good shape as well, so I think this will be a nice series.”
Asked who he expects to stand out in the Tests against England, Younis replied: “I think Azhar Ali is in good form, I think Asad [Shafiq] needs some back-up and he should lift his game as well.
“So, I think these two and Sarfraz [Ahmed] – he is a good leader. I think they will be able to handle this pressure.”