DateLine: 29th January 2009
New Pakistan captain Younus Khan on Wednesday pleaded for support from all his players, warning he has no magic wand to turn around the team's fortunes after a humiliating defeat to Sri Lanka.
The Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) on Tuesday replaced Shoaib Malik with Younus following the home team's 234-run mauling at the hands of Sri Lanka, which gave the visiting side a 2-1 series win.
Younus, who has been appointed indefinitely, said he needs support from the players so that the team can recover from its heaviest defeat in one-day internationals in terms of runs.
"I cannot do anything all by myself. I want support from all the players to take the team forward because I do not have a magic wand," Younus told local media after accepting the role.
The 31-year-old said he plans to take an active role as captain.
"I am busy in a domestic match so once I am over it, I will meet the management and players, and then make my plans. I don't want to be the captain who is captain only by name, but want to do things my own way," he said.
Asked how the team could be revived after their crushing defeat, Younus said: "Pakistan is the only team which staggers in one minute and recovers in the next. There is no reason why we can't get into the top teams again."
Younus turned down the offer of the captaincy after Pakistan's first-round exit from the 2007 World Cup, citing personal reasons.
He also refused to lead the team in the Champions Trophy held in India in October 2006, just a day after he was appointed skipper, saying he did not want to be a dummy captain.
He was reinstated as captain for the Trophy after Nasim Ashraf replaced Shaharyar Khan as PCB chairman.
But this time around Younus said he leapt at the job.
"I didn't need to think twice this time in accepting the post. It is and it isn't a tough challenge in a sense.
"Captaincy is always tough, but I've already been captain before and I don't think you can be in a tougher situation than the 2006 Champions Trophy, when we lost Shoaib (Akhtar) and (Mohammad) Asif a day before the tournament."
Younus has led Pakistan in six one-day matches, winning two and losing four, when regular captains have been unavailable. He has also captained in four Tests, winning one, losing one and drawing two.
Younus said he expected the outgoing Malik to back him.
"When he (Malik) was captain he got my full support and now I expect the same from him. Whoever is captain we have to play for the country and I expect everyone to do their best."
Younus's first assignment will be a two-Test home series against Sri Lanka next month.
"We have 15-20 days before the Test series and we will do the best preparations and you will see a different team in the Tests," said Younus.
Addressing a news conference in Lahore, Younus reiterated his pledge to take Pakistan to the top and brushed aside accusations he helped to oust Malik.
He said his idol was former captain Imran Khan, who led Pakistan to their only World Cup triumph, in Australia in 1992.
"Imran used to lead from the front and was never afraid of losing. I have modelled myself on Imran," Younus said.
(Article: Copyright © 2009 AFP)