Veteran Pakistan batsman Younis Khan needs to up the ante if the tourists want to put a stronger batting performance against South Africa in the second Test at Newlands, which starts on Thursday, according to cricket writer, Rob Houwing.
"If Michael Clarke is the glue, for instance, that currently binds the Australian Test batting order together, the Pakistani equivalent must be considered to be Younis Khan," Houwing wrote in his column for Sports24.
"It is no probably no coincidence that the tourists' heavy defeat in the first Test against the ICC top-ranked Proteas at the Wanderers saw a reasonably rare double failure at the crease by the gnarly, 35-year-old Khan in the important No 4 spot," he added.
"The right-hander fell for a five-ball duck in the disastrous Pakistani first innings of 49 at the Bullring, smack in the middle of Dale Steyn's standout "six for eight" carnage. He was also not a major contributor to their improved second knock, being dismissed by Steyn's traditional fellow head-hunter Morne Morkel for 15," he further wrote.
"But Khan is easily the most experienced and proven of his country's current crop of batsmen despite being three years shy in age terms of captain Misbah-ul-Haq, and the sort of player who seldom goes protracted periods without being influential to their cause," he further added.
Houwing wrote: "The next two Tests against the ruthless Proteas afford him perhaps a final opportunity, given his fairly advanced age, to notch a genuinely big innings in this particular enemy's territory."
"He can be both a delightful stroke-player and dogged source of resistance once he has his eye in, so South Africa are sure to go hard at him again initially at Newlands, knowing that if Khan is bundled out cheaply a pack-of-cards syndrome can follow," he added.
"At least one performance of reasonably similar substance from him at Newlands over the next few days might do wonders for Pakistan's claw-back bid," he concluded. (ANI)