Monday, September 14, 2009

Younis aims for more major trophies

Pakistan players go through drills during their camp, Karachi, September 13, 2009
Younis Khan wants to beat Australia and India in Test series © AFP

Younis Khan, the Pakistan captain, has targeted winning at least one of the next two big ICC one-day tournaments, the Champions Trophy or the 2011 World Cup. Other goals he has set for his side are beating India and Australia in Test series.

"Every captain has certain targets in mind, mine is that we must win either of these two major ICC events until I am captain," Younis said during Pakistan's conditioning camp in Karachi. "We also go to Australia later this year and we have never won a Test series there. I think we have the best chance of achieving this first time feat in the coming series."

He also hoped India and Pakistan would resume bilateral cricket, which was suspended after the Mumbai terrorist attacks last November. "I would love to lead the team in a full series against India as beating them would be a big achievement for me and a big plus in my career."

Younis has already led Pakistan to a major trophy, the World Twenty20 in England earlier this year, and was confident his squad was strong enough to achieve the targets he had set. "We have the players to win the Champions Trophy or World Cup and even beat Australia in Australia but we need to combine and click together."

Pakistan are drawn with India and Australia in the group phase of the Champions Trophy, but Younis was unfazed by the strong opponents. "When our team is clicking well and playing with confidence and on a high it does not matter how many teams we have in our group," he said. "Even if they are six we can still qualify for the semi-finals."

Another person upbeat about Pakistan's chances was Javed Miandad, who is coaching the team's batsmen during the five-day camp. He, however, warned that the batting needed to be more consistent. "I think Pakistan has one of the best bowling attacks in the world," he said, "and if they improve their batting they can win the Champions Trophy."

Miandad said that the problem with Pakistan batsmen was that some of them hadn't mastered the basics of batting yet. "Some of them play strokes while running at the crease and some leave the stumps to hit a ball which are flaws and I am doing my best to tell them the basics."

Pakistan kick off their Champions Trophy campaign against West Indies on September 23 in Johannesburg.

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