LAHORE-Pakistan cricket team batting coach Younis Khan believes that Azhar Ali and Asad Shafiq can play same role that he and Misbah used to play for Pakistan.

Talking to sports journalists during an online session, Younis, who is Pakistan’s one of the most successful Test batsman, said: “Test skipper Azhar Ali and batsman Asad Shafiq are the batsmen, who can play the same role which Misbah and I used to play for Pakistan during our playing days. They can make solid partnerships, helping the side score some big totals, which are essential for the national team to brighten its chances of winning the Test matches.”

The former captain said that Babar Azam has another level to hit to join the true elites of the game. “Babar and any other batsman should not be compared with any current or past cricket great as it will only put added pressure on the player. “Everyone talks about Babar Azam and expects him to play some remarkable innings. But we should let him play his own game, which will surely help him play some big innings for Pakistan,” he said.

Replying to a query regarding Fawad Alam, Younis said: “Fawad Alam has big performances and when we talk about the domestic structure, he has been a top performer that’s why he is here. Whenever I spoke to him during the last few years, I always told him that if it’s in his destiny and he is performing and fit, he will get a chance and now he is in the squad. I firmly believe that whenever he gets a chance, he will perform. “It’s too tough for a player to keep performing in domestic cricket year after year. When I played cricket, I didn’t have some skills and I had a few things missing but with my hard work, I saw my destiny changing. So I am certain that Fawad will perform whenever he gets the chance,” he added.

Younis said mindset is very important. “I played my entire cricket with my mindset. I may not have the best skills or the best fitness but the mindset is very important for me and I am trying to work on that with the players. So I am hopeful that when we meet each other after a month, it’ll be on a good note.

“I am not saying that we don’t work on skills, we surely do. But, along with skills, it is important to work to make players free of all the negative thoughts. I went through some family tragedies while I was playing for Pakistan but my mentors, from family and cricket, helped me stay strong and it went well,” he asserted.

Younis said he has chalked out his strategy of working on batsmen, adding that he’s trying to make them mentally strong and doing something which can produce long lasting results. “You may not see an overnight result but there can be some positive outcome of what I’ve been doing with players,” he said.

“I am trying to make the players realise their responsibility and own the team, which is more important. I believe that it is my responsibility to give equal time to all the players, be it Babar Azam or a younger player like Haider Ali,” he added.

“We haven’t come here to fight, we have come here to win. I always try to make the players feel that we are not trying to fight back. If we do that then we will have that mindset all the time. So for all the players, I try to tell them that we are here to play good cricket, not to fight back,” he said and added: “The team management is also working to improve batting skills of tail-enders as it is important to have lower order batsmen survive for longer in Test matches.”