Azharuddin: 'Younis was batting like a joker'

Mohammad Azharuddin speaks about the advice he gave to Younis Khan and also talks about Virat Kohli and the Indian Test team.

Mohammad Azharuddin along with Ashish Nehra, Zaheer Khan and Irfan Pathan was in the city to launch the jersey of Chepauk Super Gillies.

Mohammad Azharuddin couldn’t stand when Younis Khan, one of Pakistan’s greatest ever batsmen, was hopping around in England as if he had forgotten batting.

Younis’ feet were shifting; his knees were bending too much, and he kept springing as the ball reached him. A batsman with 31 Test hundreds shouldn’t bat like this, Azhar felt. He rang up Younis and asked him to stay at the crease and play the ball late. After scores of 33, 25, 1, 28, 31 and 4, Younis scored his 32nd Test hundred at The Oval. He thanked Azhar after being awarded the man-of-the-match for making 218 runs.

“He was batting like a joker,” said Azhar, when asked about his conversation with Younis during a media interaction in the city. “You can’t play cricket like that. He has 31 Test hundreds and so much runs. So, I told him that’s not how you play swing bowling. So, it was very good of him to implement my suggestion.”

Asked if Virat Kohli had a flaw in his batting, the former skipper replied, “Every batsman has his own flaws. No batsman is perfect. I am not saying he has a flaw. But when the ball swings, he might struggle a little bit.”

Lauding the Indian skipper and the team for reaching the No. 1 Test ranking, Azhar said, “It’s a very good side. It’s a very aggressive side. They now have good fast bowlers. A good spinner. And if there’s a captain who goes for the win, it augurs very well. The team has shown great determination and hunger for win.”

Visiting a city that he used to frequent once, Azhar said, “Chennai is always special for me. I scored my second Test hundred here. I cannot forget that. I’ve come here for so many camps. I probably used to come here once in two months. The Chennai crowd is always very supportive. I’ve very fond memories and I am very happy to be here. The city has changed a lot. I’ve forgotten all the roads. I used to remember them,” he chuckled.