ISLAMABAD - Former Pakistan skipper Zaheer Abbas termed green shirts’ masterful victory against mighty Kangroos as one of the most historic ones considering the fact Pakistan was without the services of Saeed Ajmal, Umar Gul and Junaid Khan.

Talking to The Nation, Zaheer said: “Younus Khan once again proved his mettle and showed why he is rated so highly and feared by the opponents. Had the selectors not committed a huge blunder of ignoring him in the one-dayers, Pakistan could have performed better in the ODIs as well.”

“Younus has shown he is still the backbone of Pakistan batting. The way he not only batted himself but also taken good care of Sarfraz Ahmed in the first innings and Ahmed Shahzad in the second innings to score big tons is highly laudable. He showed he knows how to help the youngsters and his presence at the crease always help juniors to groom,” he added.

Terming Younus’ innings one of the greatest knock of all time, Zaheer said Younus’ classic strokes, reading the game, and batting with authority well in time first helped the team pile up a good total and then help the team register crushing victory.

Zaheer also paid tribute to Pakistani spinners, who bowled superbly under enormous pressure, as fast bowers failed to produce desired results. “The pressure and burden was very much on the shoulders of Zulfiqar Babar and debutant Yasir Shah, but the way both these lads performed was exceptional and a lesson for others to follow. I am also quite impressed with Imran Khan, who is a real future star, he is a quality bowler and can play vital role in team’s triumph.”

“Zulfiqar Babar is a proven material although he was not given enough chances when it comes to national team, but he has a tremendous record in Pakistan’s domestic circuit. He should have been given chances mush earlier. I think in the absence of Saeed Ajmal, the selectors had no other option but to stick with maestro Yasir Shah, who had shown great potential in the very first match of his life. I am sure, he will be an asset for the country and serve Pakistan cricket for years to come. Pakistan did miss Ajmal and Junaid, as Rahat looked a bit off color,” he added.

“Pakistan is known for getting relaxed and let the opponents off the hook when it matters the most. Australians will not sit back, and they will retaliate and try to win the second Test to level the series. Pakistan had a golden opportunity to inflict a Test series defeat on them after a gap of more than two decades. Pakistan team needs to enter the second Test with clear cut planning and must adopt same aggressive approach. The batsmen need to carry on their good form,” he said.

“The selectors must keep in mind World Cup is just round the corner, so they should build team around experience of Younus, as without a player like him, it will be almost impossible for greens shirts to expect anything in the seam and fast tracks of Australia and New Zealand.

I will strongly suggest the PCB must stick to combination of senior and some juniors as well, who can play sheet anchor role in the coming series against New Zealand and then in the mega event,” he added.

“Pakistan never led Australia in a Test series since 1994, so an impressive 221-run win in Dubai means Misbahul Haq’s team has now a golden chance to inflict a series defeat on Aussies and rewrite history books,” Zaheer concluded.