Here is a story on how Mohammad Yousuf made the year 2006 in Test Cricket, his own!
He was Yousuf Youhana then. 4th Christian player to play for Pakistan.
And in 2005, Yousuf Youhana became Mohammad Yousuf, the name which immediately (in 2006) made into the highest point attainable in Test Cricket by breaking the 30-year old record of Viv Richards to become the Most Runs scorer in a Calendar Year in Test Cricket.
He was completely a different batsman that year. In fact, 2006 was the only year in Mohammad Yousuf’s career, when he scored more than 1000 Runs in a Single Calendar Year.
He ruled the year literally.
Mohammad Yousuf in 2006 – Stats
- 1788 Runs in 19 Innings.
- 9 Centuries.
- 3 Half Centuries.
- 3 Man of the Series.
He averaged 99.33 that year in Tests with a high score of 202.
His 9 Centuries that year is still the record for the Most Hundreds in Test Cricket in a Single Year.
The Magical 2006
2006 had been a good year for Pakistan too in the Test Cricket arena.
They won 3 out of the 4 Test Series played that year, losing only the Away Series in England.
You can see that in the table below, where two Paksitani’s made into the top 5 run scorers in 2006 in Tests – Mohammad Yousuf and Younis Khan.
Also, they haven’t lost a single Test match in Home in 2006, a big thanks to Mohammad Yousuf, who was their major contributor that year.
He even scored 3 Centuries in the lost England Series, including a Double Hundred.
Look how he leads the Runs chart in the year 2006 in Test Cricket:
He was completely dominating the chart above, with an average reaching almost 100!
Dream Start to the year
Earlier, Yousuf started that year with a big Century against India in the Gaddafi Stadium, Lahore – 199 balls 173.
That match was all about Batsmen with a total of 1089 was scored with a fall of just 8 Wickets altogether.
A total of 6 Centuries, were scored that match – 4 from Pakistan and 2 from India. No surprise the Match ended in a big draw.
Yousuf continued his form throughout the Series to end up with a total of 461 Runs, helping Pakistan winning the Series 1-0. [The Man of the Series – Younis Khan, another Pakistani batsman was the leading run scorer with 553 Runs.]
And it didn’t stop there!
If you look at the Centuries, Yousuf made that year, you will find that he was dominating his opponents throughout the year.
Yousuf’s only flop in 2006 came in Sri Lanka, where he played just 1 match and ended up scoring 17 & 14*. Otherwise, It was his year completely.
His last 2 centuries 102 & 124 came against West Indies in the same match in Karachi, becoming the 6th Pakistani bowler to score Centuries in both Innings of a Test match.
Also, his Double Century score of 202 vs England in Lords, that year, was one of the best batting displays played in Test Cricket by a Cricketer. Here is the video of Mohammad Yousuf’s 202 Innings:
Consequently, he did win 2 Man of the Series awards in the 4 Test Series Pakistan played that year against England and West Indies.
Records broken by Mohammad Yousuf in 2006
Here is the list of Records, Mohammad Yousuf made in the year 2006:
- 1788 – Most Runs in a Calendar Year in Test Cricket.
- 9 – Most Centuries in a Calendar Year in Test Cricket.
- Most Consecutive Test Centuries for Pakistan – 5 (Joint 2nd Most Overall. Don Bradman scored 6 Consecutive Centuries in 1937-38. One of his insane records in Test cricket).
- 6 centuries in 6 Successive Tests (Equalled Don Bradman)
- Pakistani record for the Most Runs in a 3-Match Test Series – 655 vs West Indies. (3rd Overall)
- Most Dismissals in 190s – 3 (all coming in that year) [Source – CricketSeervi]
- He was awarded the Test Player of the Year award in 2007.
What did others say?
Mohammad Yousuf was full praise on Bob Woolmer, whom he stated the reason behind his change in style and improvement in his balance while batting in England Test Series, 2006.
The Pakistani Captain then, Inzamam Ul Haq remarked Yousuf’s consistency in 2006, magical. He was found saying, “I have been playing since 1989 but I have not seen such consistency from a batsman at this level.”
West Indies Captain Brian Lara, against whom Mohammad Yousuf scored a mighty 655 Runs in just 5 Innings at the year-end, said, “It’s excellent and slightly unbelievable what he has achieved. Nine hundred in a year and that many runs is just magnificent. He is a very committed player and an excellent role model, not just for Pakistan but for young cricketers everywhere.”
Wrapping it up
Test Cricket in 2006 was ruled by 2 Cricketers. One being Mohammad Yousuf, the other was the Sri Lankan legendary spin bowler Muttiah Muralitharan.
Muralitharan picked 90 Test Wickets in the year 2006, which is only next to Shane Warne’s 96 Wickets in 2005, for the Most Wickets taken in Tests inside a single year.
2006 was also one of the greatest years for Team Australia, who went on to win all 10 Test matches they played that year. Yes, not even a draw!
Still, if it comes to individual batsmanship, Mohammad Yousuf outshined each of his counterparts with the utmost consistency and focus.
Overall it had been a fantastic year for Test Cricket. And Yousuf made it his own!
Thanks for Reading!!!
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