Younus Khan made his debut for Pakistan in 2000, but it was not until five years later that his cricketing ability caught the world's attention. As vice-captain, he scored three centuries in 2005, including a double hundred against India. Khan dominates spin bowling, and his trademark flick on the leg side is just one of an array of delightful strokes that he has mastered.
A classy batsman, he is an excellent exponent of classic stroke-play. He is also a skilful fielder, often stationed in the slips. Despite his obvious talent, the problems that have dogged Pakistan cricket have also followed Khan, perhaps inevitably, as he is a high-profile member of the team. Prior to 2007, he led Pakistan occasionally, but turned down the full-time role after a catastrophic World Cup. Pakistan continued to under-perform and in 2009, Khan gave it another shot at captaincy. Although he led Pakistan to victory in the World Twenty20, the captaincy came at a personal cost to him, as the team was later accused of match-fixing after the poor semi-final performance at that year's Champions Trophy; which ultimately led to his resignation.
Khan's form deteriorated and after a horrendous tour of Australia in 2010, the Pakistan Cricket Board took the extraordinary step of banning Khan indefinitely for infighting. This was later overturned, but he was not recalled by the PCB as lingering antagonism between the two may have had a part to play, and it was not until October that he was selected against South Africa. After a prolonged absence from international cricket, his performances were impressive, scoring two fifties in ODIs and a hundred in his comeback Test. As Pakistan face struggles both on and off the pitch, a talented and experienced cricketer like him proves to be invaluable. However, the stress of cricket's bureaucracy and the burden of expectation placed on the team by Pakistani cricket fans may again be too much. Nevertheless, Khan's contribution towards his nation remains significant.