Coach Intikhab hopes Younis will unite Pakistan team

January 28th, 2009 - 5:38 pm ICT by IANS  

Karachi, Jan 28 (IANS) Pakistan cricket coach Intikhab Alam has thrown his weight behind new captain Younis Khan, saying that the senior batsman has the ability to gel the national team together and get the best out of it. Intikhab told IANS Wednesday that Younis has a great rapport with his teammates and hoped that he will go on to become a successful captain.

“Younis is a very experienced player and is well respected by his fellow players,” said Intikhab, a former Pakistan captain. “He has a great rapport with all the players and should click as a captain.”

Younis, 31, was chosen as Pakistan captain Tuesday just days after the national team suffered a crushing 234-run defeat against Sri Lanka in the ODI series decider in Lahore.

Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) chairman Ijaz Butt told reporters Tuesday that the decision was taken after Shoaib Malik agreed to step down as Pakistan captain after the series defeat against Sri Lanka.

Intikhab also had words of praise for the outgoing captain. “Malik is a fine cricketer,” said Intikhab, who managed the Pakistan team that won the 1992 World Cup in Australia. “I was the one who supported him as captain but he (Malik) had a few weaknesses which was why it was decided to bring in a new captain,” he said.

Intikhab was confident that under Younis’s captaincy, the Pakistan team will bounce back in its two-match Test series at home against Sri Lanka in Jan-Feb.

“After losing the ODI series (against Sri Lanka) it is very important for the Pakistan team to do well in the Tests,” said the coach. “I’m confident that Younis will inspire them to give their best in the series,” he concluded.

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