Younis, Inzimam, Malala and Edhi
The Pakistani middle order linchpin, Younis Khan, has played in 91 test matches scoring 7610 runs with 24 centuries, at an average of 51.41.
After similar number of matches, the batting legend Sachin Tendulkar had had an almost identical record having scored 7673 runs with 25 centuries. Younis’s numbers also compare very well with other undisputed champion batsmen such as Brian Lara, Ricky Ponting and fellow countryman Javaid Miandad. After 91 matches, Lara had scored 7708 runs with 19 centuries, Ponting accumulated 7225 runs with 23 centuries while Miandad aggregated 6573 runs with 17 centuries.
Why are Younis’s batting talents in Test cricket so under-rated and under-acclaimed? Is there a conspiracy to deny Younis his rightful place at the podium or do Tendulakar, Inzimam, Miandad and Lara have the backing of powerful lobbies behind them? Are there some hidden and sinister motives behind every list that is drawn by a pundit or fan that does not give Younis his due?
The answer is that sometimes, first-rate players are undervalued because they lack a certain aura or ‘je ne sais quoi’. Younis Khan is perhaps an extraordinary players who isn’t given his due because of a certain anonymity, whereas Brian Lara, Javed Miandad, Sachin Tendulkar and Inzimam-ul-Haq walk the field swaddled in an aura that magnifies them and their doings. A host of other factors may also determine how a talented person ends up over-rated or under-valued, such as media projection, personality, charisma or even uniqueness.
However, the question is that if one considers Younis to be under-rated, should that make Inzimam, who is considered by many fans and pundits to be a greater batsman, a baddie or untalented in one’s eyes? Is it necessary to demolish and diminish Inzimam’s contribution to Pakistan cricket if one is to go out on a quest to argue for batting greatness that is Younis Khan?
The same goes for Malala Yousufzai and Abdus Sattar Edhi.