By: Imad Ali Jan
Pakistan dropped two places in the ICC World Test Championship points table after they lost the third match of the series to Australia. Historically, the batting department has always been Pakistan’s weakest suit, and in the last match, despite some individual performances, the batters failed to impress.
One thing that remained unimpressive in Pakistan batting was the lack of big partnerships in the lower middle-order which play a vital role in Test cricket. There was one big stand between Babar and Rizwan that saved the match in Karachi.
There were a number of middle-order batters in the past who were brilliant in partnerships. Those batters played in tough conditions and displayed extraordinary temperament against world-class bowling attacks.
Without further ado, let us take a look at batters who played exceptionally well in the middle against top-class bowling attacks and scored over 3,000 partnership runs for Pakistan in Test cricket in the 21st century.
Misbah & Younis
Misbah-ul-Haq and Younis Khan remained one the greatest middle-order pairs in Test cricket during the last decade. The duo batted together on 53 occasions and scored 3,213 runs at an average of 68.36 and led Pakistan to victory on many occasions. They have also scored 15 century and 7 half-century partnerships while their highest score in the match is 186 against South Africa where the two batted together for 57 overs to ensure a draw. They were the part of the side that clean swept Australia in UAE, won a maiden Test series in West Indies, and drawn series in England.
Younis & Yousuf
Muhammad Yousuf and Younis Khan are considered the most successful Test batting duo for Pakistan. The two Y’s have paired up in 40 innings and scored 3,137 runs at an average of 78.42 while they also have had 9 hundred run and 12 fifty run partnerships. Their highest partnership of 363 runs came against England in Leeds. Younis and Yousuf also remained the most successful pair against India. They scored 1,372 runs in 9 innings at an astounding average of 171.50 while their highest partnership against India is 319 in Lahore. They were part of the team that drew the Test series in India and won the series against England in Pakistan.
Inzamam & Yousuf
Inzamam-ul-Haq and Mohammad Yousuf played together in the middle 59 times and scored 3,013 runs at an average of 56.84 while crossing the century and fifty run marks 10 and 13 times respectively.
Their best of 259 for the 4th wicket against England came at National Stadium Karachi in 2000. They were instrumental in winning the series against India, South Africa, England, and West Indies.