Player Profile

Azhar Ali
Pakistan
Born February 19, 1985 ( 34 Yrs )
Birth Place Lahore, Punjab
Height
Known As
Player Role Batsman
Player Bat Style Right Handed Bat
Player Bowl Style Right-arm legbreak

Career Information - Teams

Pakistan, Lahore Qalandars, Somerset


ICC Rankings

TEST ODI T20
Batting
Bowling
All Rounder

Profile

If grit and determination had a face, the sketch drawn will personify Azhar Ali. A water-tight technique backed by oodles of concentration at the wicket, Azhar Ali at number 3 is Pakistan's own answer to Rahul Dravid. Unfair, the comparison might be, but his batting acumen is based on wearing out the bowlers. This game plan suits him fine and he has creamed runs all over the world. The sense of calm he brings to the table was in sync with Misbah's captaincy at the turn of this decade.

Azhar Ali became one of the few Pakistani players to make his Test debut before playing an ODI when he got his chance against Australia at Lord’s in July 2010. He played a crucial knock in his very second game where he made a match winning 51 at Leeds as Pakistan successfully chased down a tricky target of 180, with just 3 wickets in hand. With the knock, Azhar retained his place in the squad for the Tests against England the following month. He failed in the first 2 Tests, and despite the return of Mohammad Yousuf, retained his spot for the remaining part of the series. He justified the selection with an unbeaten 92 in the first innings of the third Test at The Oval, which Pakistan went on to win.

His numbers away from home have always been a bone of contention but he has tried to set the record straight in the recent years. He had a torrid period in 2013 as he averaged tad under 20 in the 7 Tests that year to be dropped for the first two Tests against Sri Lanka in early 2014. But a majestic 103 off 137 balls scripted a famous win for Pakistan as they tracked down 302 in 57.3 overs to win a humdinger of a contest at Sharjah to level the 3-match Test series 1-1. Ever since, his averages have been above 50 in the succeeding years. A fighting hundred (139) against England at Birmingham in a lost cause in Aug 2016, a triple ton against West Indies in October, 2016, and a majestic double at the MCG in late 2016, again in a losing cause, have been vindications of Azhar Ali scoring runs all over the world. Year 2017 started off with a couple of hundreds in West Indies against the Caribbean team as well.

His ODI numbers pale in comparison to his Test status as a solid number 3. He did get the captaincy in ODI's after Pakistan failed to make the knock-outs in the 2015 World Cup. Having been in wilderness in the ODI format for a good two years, he was strangely given the captaincy in the shorter format. He tried his hands at captaincy in 31 ODIs and after a 1-4 drubbing at the hands of the Aussies, away from home in early 2017, Azhar was asked to relinquish the job. Sarfraz Ahmed was handed over the charge and Ali also lost his place in the side for the ODIs against West Indies. But he was picked for the Champions Trophy and crucial fifties in the semis and finals against England and India respectively saw Pakistan lifting the Trophy. The way he counter-attacked the spinners in the finale put the Indians off their plans and paved way for a famous win for Pakistan. Post Misbah and Younis Khan's retirement, Azhar Ali has decided to be torch bearer of Pakistan cricket and he has not disappointed yet.

by Kumar Abhisekh Das


Career

TEST debut vs Australia at Lord's, Jul 13, 2010
Last TEST vs Australia at Adelaide Oval, Nov 29, 2019
ODI debut vs Ireland at Civil Service Cricket Club, May 30, 2011
Last ODI vs New Zealand at University Oval, Jan 13, 2018

Batting Career Summary

M Inn NO Runs HS Avg BF SR 100 200 50 4s 6s
ODI 53 53 3 1845 102 36.9 2478 74.46 3 0 12 168 14
T20 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
Test 76 143 8 5731 302 42.45 13830 41.44 15 3 31 533 16
IPL 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0

Bowling Career Summary

M Inn B Runs Wkts BBI BBM Econ Avg SR 5W 10W
ODI 53 14 258 260 4 26/2 26/2 6.05 65 64.5 0 0
T20 0 0 0 0 0 -/- -/- 0 0 0 0 0
Test 76 35 854 611 8 35/2 49/2 4.30 76.38 106.75 0 0
IPL 0 0 0 0 0 -/- -/- 0 0 0 0 0