Lahore: Serious doubts have emerged over Younis Khan's ODI career after the national selectors decided to "rest" him for the series against Australia, with apparently only the national team coach, Dav Whatmore speaking in his favour at the selection committee meeting.
"Only Whatmore spoke out on the need to have an experienced batsman like Younis in the side as he pointed out that Pakistan still needed their senior players around," a source said.
The selectors met on Monday in Lahore and decided to rest Younis and senior pacer Umar Gul from the one-day series.
Younis, who has scored 6824 runs in 245 ODIs at an average of 32.18, has struggled for form in his last 10 one-day internationals, scoring just 97 at an average of 10.77 that included a half-century.
On Pakistan's last tour to Sri Lanka, Younis had scored just 10 runs in four matches. The source said that when the selectors decided not to include Younis in the ODI squad, Whatmore spoke in his favour but vice-captain, Mohammad Hafeez kept quiet throughout the discussion.
"But when the selectors discussed the recent batting form of Younis in ODIs, Whatmore also went silent," the source added. Sources claimed that Younis's ODI career might have come to an end particularly with Azhar Ali now replacing him at the number three slot in the ODI team for the series against Australia.
A well-informed source said that chief selector, Iqbal Qasim also had a discussion with Younis regarding his ODI career before taking the decision to "rest" him so that he was not caught unaware by the announcement.
Interestingly, even captain Misbah-ul-Haq didn't insist on Younis's selection before leaving for Sri Lanka to play in the premier league matches.
Younis has been criticised for his slow batting in ODIs for the last few years and his last century in this form of the game also came in November 2008 against the West Indies at Abu Dhabi. But former chief selector Mohsin Khan disagreed with the selectors decision, saying, "You need to show confidence in the senior players when they are struggling and this move might damage his confidence.
The former Test batsman, who was replaced by Whatmore as coach in March despite a successful record, said he would not have dropped Younis for the simple reason that he was a very good influence in the dressing room and a fighter to the core.
"He is a great example for the younger players and a complete team man. That is why I would have given him another chance to regain his form and confidence. We still need his experience," Mohsin said.
He also said that the current bunch of selectors should have kept in mind that Younis has a good track record against strong oppositions and was likely to bounce back to form against Australia. "He [Younis] is a quality and fearless player of pace and that will be required against Australia."
Meanwhile, another Former Test player, Basit Ali also came out in defence of Younis, saying that the selectors' decision is a short sighted one. "I am surprised because even the selectors know that Younis got some bad decisions recently against Sri Lanka. He is a big-hearted man and this quality would be needed against Australia. But I am sure he will bounce back as he has done in the past," Ali said.