Lahore: Describing them as the lifeline of Pakistan batting, South African skipper Graeme Smith said the performance of Younis Khan and Mohammad Yousuf would be the key to Pakistan’s fortunes during the tour of India.
“I think their experience is going to be very, very important on the tour of India. They are going to carry a lot of pressure,” Smith said after sealing the ODI series 3-2 against Pakistan on Monday night.
“They are two quality batsmen at the moment, probably the lifeline of their batting. They control a large majority of their batting,” added the South African skipper.
Younis and Yousuf were the outstanding batsmen for Pakistan in the Test and one-day series against the South Africans. The former scored two hundreds in the Tests while the latter, who returned to the team, registered three half-centuries and a hundred in the one-day series.
Smith also praised the performance of fast bowler Shoaib Akhtar, who took four wickets in the final ODI, after serving a 13-match international ban.
“We know what he is capable of and he showed it again against us. He is their main strike option always. He bowled well,” Smith said.
Big step forward
The South African skipper also felt that victory in both the Test and ODI series would prove a stepping stone for South African cricket.
“It is a fabulous achievement for us to have won both trophies and the guys showed a lot of maturity on the tour. It is a huge stepping stone.
“After the World Cup, people questioned our ability to play in these conditions. This series win is a big step forward for South African cricket,” he said.
Smith, who was in fine form during the series, said touring Pakistan was always a big challenge for any side.
“Pakistan is always a tough tour because of the outside stuff that comes with it. You look at the newspapers and you know what is going on in the country. But, our security guys handled things very well and it showed in our results,” he said. — PTI