Younis Khan said on Friday that he wants to build a strong team in the mould of the one put in place by former skipper Imran Khan and that was the reason this time he had accepted the captaincy unconditionally.
“In the past whenever I have been offered the captaincy I have kept conditions. This time,however,I kept no conditions. I had mentally made up my mind this time that if the board asked me to become captain I would accept it,” Younis told a press conference at national stadium.
“When Imran left in 1992 the team he built was one of the top sides until 2000. I want to do something similar. When I leave in two or three years’ time I want to leave behind a side that can carry on at the top level for a couple of years,” said Younis,who refused the captaincy after the 2007 World Cup debacle.
The middle-order batsman said he didn’t want the players to support him but to support the Pakistan team.
“It really does not matter if they support me,they must support the team and play for Pakistan,” he said. Younis said he had insisted on having a four-day conditioning camp at a remote township outside Karachi without the media glare because it was the best way to make the players gel.
“I wanted a situation where everyone spoke out and was honest in his opinion about another player. I am a straight forward person and I dont like back biting or anyone keeping things in his heart. I want the culture of the team to be open,” he said.
Asked if he had his say in the 15 selected for the first Test,Younis said he had the authority to pick the final playing eleven and the 15 players were given by the selectors.
Regarding the omission of some players including Sohail Tanvir and Rao Iftikhar,Younis said this question should be directed to the selectors as they picked the squad.
“But let’s be clear,when players are picked different viewpoints do emerge and they are arguments but I think the idea is to have the best possible squad.”
Unlike his predecessors,Younis also announced the first 12 for the first Test. “Yes I can tell that Asim Kamal,Ahmed Shahzad and Fawad Alam have been left out of the first 12. We will finalise the eleven tomorrow morning after having a final look at the pitch because you never know what can happen in Pakistan cricket,” Younis said. The right-handed batsman also has an open and straightforward relationship with the media.
“One reason I took up the captaincy was because you supported me and wanted me to do this,” he said,adding that he intends to launch a new website/blog to help him interact regularly with the people.
Younis said during the conditioning camp he had made players pair with each other to foster camaraderie. “I want the team spirit not for myself but for Pakistan.” He also conceded that he is a changed man now. “My friends and well-wishers have advised me to remain cool and tolerant and not to get angry and temperamental like in the past. I am going to be a changed captain this time,” he said.