Karachi: Former Pakistan cricketers hailed Younis Khan's match-winning hundred in the third Test against Sri Lanka and said the senior batsman is the best judge to decide on his retirement.
"Younis played one of his best innings today and he completely rendered the Sri Lankan spinners helpless. I think the Sri Lankans under-estimated Pakistan batting and it was a mistake leaving out a seasoned campaigner like Rangana Herath and depending on spinners still new to Test cricket," former captain Rameez Raja said.
Muhammad Yousuf, former captain and top batsman, also said the hundred was one of the most memorable innings from Younis. "I have played a lot with him and you could see he was determined to do well in this innings. He is a steely character and physically still very fit. He is the one who is best placed to decide his future in Test cricket," Yousuf said.
Younis, who turns 38 in November shared a double hundred partnership with young Shaan Masood to set up the series win the first by Pakistan in Sri Lanka since 2006. "I think the Pakistan team today made everyone happy and proud and this is what we expect them to do. It is a good combination of senior and young players now," Yousuf said.
Another former captain Rashid Latif said Younis' hundred did not surprise him as the senior batsman was determined to carry on playing for another two to three years.
"He is a strong character and whenever the chips are down and he is under scrutiny he fights back with a big hundred like he did in this Test. But I can say he is a complete team man and a great example for the young players in the side," Latif said.
Batting legend, Hanif Muhammad praised Younis and Shaan Masood for their hundreds but said every member of the team had contributed to the win. "Younis is a very mature and experienced batsman and his presence would have also given lot of encouragement to Masood who is still new to Test cricket," the little master said.
Hanif said leg spinner Yasir Shah was the real hero of the series with his 24 wickets. "If Yasir had not bowled the way he did in the series and if Imran Khan had not taken those five wickets Pakistan would have been chasing a 400 runs plus target," Hanif said.
The former legend said Pakistan were now favorites to win the ODI series as the morale of the Sri Lankans would be down after the Test series loss. Former test opener, Mohsin Khan said that the team management deserved credit for installing fighting spirit in the team and Pakistan now had a very good chance to win the ODI series and qualify for the Champions Trophy in 2017.
"Sri Lanka made a mistake leaving out Herath in the final test and it is clear they now need time to rebuild their team after the retirements of Kumar Sangakkara and Mahela Jayawardena."
Pakistan's chief selector, Haroon Rasheed described the win as a big image booster for Pakistan cricket. "This win is remarkable because we are facing so many problems like the continuing injuries to key players, the retirements of Misbah and Afridi from ODI cricket, no international cricket in Pakistan but still the team has done well and that is something to be very proud off."
Haroon said Pakistan's ODI squad was in a rebuilding process so the series would be a tough one for both sides. "But what is pleasing is that the youngsters we are inducting from domestic cricket into international cricket are showing promise and cricket sense. Shaan Masood played a brilliant innings and was ably guided by Younis. But it is a fact that it takes time for a player from domestic cricket to settle down in international cricket," he said.