Younis appreciates testing preparation

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Batsman Younis Khan has heralded Pakistan's ongoing tour of Zimbabwe as fitting preparation for the series against South Africa in the United Arab Emirates later this year.

Batsman Younis Khan has heralded Pakistan's ongoing tour of Zimbabwe as fitting preparation for the series against South Africa in the United Arab Emirates later this year.

Khan moved to 76 not out on day three of the first Test at the Harare Sports Club on Thursday, as the tourists climbed to 168 for four – and a lead of 90 – in response to the hosts' 327 all out. Pakistan had managed 249 all out in their first innings.

While the visiting top order was again troubled by early breakthroughs from seamers Tinashe Panyangara and Tendai Chatara, Younis remained firm throughout a patient vigil that spanned 174 deliveries and featured seven boundaries.

"The Zimbabweans bowled so well, they made it difficult for us, it's definitely good practice for us when we get back to Dubai. Also, the wicket is very good so we can really get some time but they are making it tough for us to score runs," said Khan.

The former captain, meanwhile, countered the team's alleged over-reliance on senior players like himself, skipper Misbah-ul-Haq and all-rounder Mohammad Hafeez – after inexperienced opener Khurram Manzoor failed again.

"Test cricket is all about patience and the young guys, sometimes they come from ODIs and Twenty20s so they need to learn. It's for the senior players like myself and Misbah and Hafeez to help them and we are here to do that. The other thing is that we are not playing Test cricket regularly, the last time was almost six months ago. You need to play regularly to learn," concluded Younis.

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