Inspired by Bob Woolmer, Younis Khan says coaches are there for the players

KARACHI: Younis Khan, the batting coach appointed for the Pakistan cricket team’s England tour, has said he is inspired by Bob Woolmer’s coaching technique and will try to emulate the late coach’s methods when he begins work with the team.

Talking to the media via video conference, the 42-year old former captain said that coaches are there to serve the players.

“Coaches should provide comfort to the players,” Khan said.

Elaborating on why he was inspired by Woolmer’s method, he said: “Woolmer would handle each player according to his abilities […] he got everyone to perform for team Pakistan.”

“I will try to be a friend and role model for the players, instead of being the Younis Khan that I used to be in my playing days,” he said.

Khan, considered to be among the most successful batsmen in Pakistan’s Test history, added that he will focus more on developing players’ mental fortitude rather than their cricketing technique.

Khan said that when he used to play alongside Misbah-ul-Haq, batsmen Azhar Ali and Asad Shafiq were free of pressure. After he and Misbah left, the entire burden fell on Ali and Shafiq’s shoulders.

“It is important for players to prepare for future challenges like this,” Khan said.

“When I was playing, I knew that a time would come that players like Inzamam-ul-Haq and Mohammad Yousuf would leave and I would have to take on the task, so I started to prepare myself for the responsibility and that helped me later on,” he said.

The newly appointed batting coach said that an England tour is always important, not only for Pakistan but for every team that visits the country in the summers. But this time Pakistan’s series there will be special and everyone’s eyes will be on this tour due to the coronavirus pandemic, which has seen many sports activities curtailed.

While Khan agreed that the present circumstances are a challenge for him and everyone else as there is no possibility of gathering and coaching, he promised that he will not make any excuses.

“I won’t say that I couldn’t do much because I didn’t have much time. If you’re passionate and committed then even two days are enough for you to do something. I am committed and I will do my job,” he said.

“I will try to tell the players how to convert the fifties into centuries and centuries into double and triple hundreds,” he said, adding that commitment is a major factor for the success of any player.

According to Khan, a player must set career goals and then work hard to chase those goals.

He also spoke about his bitter history with PCB but added that he has become more humble and there is no “ego issue” with anyone.

“[PCB chief executive] Wasim Khan talked to me in a very professional manner and I believed that I could do something for the Pakistan team, that’s why I agreed to this job. We can’t dwell on the past. We need to move on and try to be humble,” Khan said.

When asked about the possibility of clashes with other highly successful cricketer-turned-coaches, Younis Khan guaranteed that he would not have any issues with anyone.

“I will make sure that I don’t cause any disturbance for anyone,” he said.

Replying to a question, Khan said that it is “too early” to compare Babar Azam with Virat Kohli but added that Azam has what it takes to be a top player.

“Compare Babar Azam with Virat Kohli after five years,” Khan concluded.

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