Younus remains upbeat
Younus Khan has backed his Pakistan team despite the stunning loss to Sri Lanka in Galle.
Last Updated: 08/07/09 11:36am
Pakistan captain Younus Khan is keeping faith with his team despite the stunning loss in the first Test against Sri Lanka.
Chasing 168 for victory, Pakistan were in total control when they began the fourth day needing a further 97 with eight wickets in hand.
But a spectacular collapse saw them bowled out for 117 before lunch in Galle.
"We have a young team and it is not right to give them stick right away," Younus reasoned.
"It's all about pressure and because of the inexperience our team has not handled the pressure well.
"Before the series, I had said the team that handles the pressure best would do well."
Pakistan had held the edge over the first three days with Mohammad Yousuf's knock of 112 take his side past Sri Lanka's first innings score of 292.
The tourists had looked set for a huge first-innings lead, but Sri Lanka's bowlers were able to restrict the advantage to only 50 runs.
"Our lead was insufficient," Younus said. "We had Yousuf and Kamran Akmal, two set batsmen at the crease and we ought to have got a lead of a 100-150.
"It was the turning point in the game and it allowed Sri Lanka to comeback.
"Having said that, I think Kumar Sangakkara's captaincy was fantastic.
"No other captain would have started with Rangana Herath at the start of the fourth day."
Left-arm spinner Herath had engineered Pakistan's downfall with two wickets at the start of the day, and went on to finish with 4-15 from 11.3 overs.
Younus also pleaded with his countrymen not to put pressure on fast bowler Mohammad Aamer by comparing him with former great Wasim Akram.
The left-arm debutant paceman, 17, was the pick of the bowlers on either side, claiming three top-order wickets in each innings.
"Aamer is a young guy, but please don't compare him to Wasim Akram," Younus added.
"Whenever someone bowls well he is compared to Akram. This is a huge problem in our country.
"With that pressure of expectation, it becomes hard for me and for the player.
"Give him two to three years and after that we will talk about him."