Tuesday, April 17, 2012

Player Profile Azhar Ali

An obdurate batsman who likes to greet the majority of his deliveries he faces by getting behind the line, covering the movement & presenting the full flat straight face of the blade, someone who likes to show the makers name out of the coaching manual. Azhar bats in a traditional mould of spending extended periods of time in the middle to price tag his wicket with utmost pride, hold an end down, play the supporting, waiting, patient, reliable, resilient 2nd fiddle roles when engaging in partnerships to gradually accumulate runs & grind out opposition attacks. Azhar can be considered as a grafter, anchor sheet & blocker in terms of playing style. With consistent performances Azhar has impressively cemented his place as a stalwart at number 3 now that he has scored half centuries or more against all test playing nations barring India who he is yet to face. With his strengths lying in application, grit & a neat defensive technique Azhar has established himself as the glue which holds the Pakistan innings together providing the ingredients of stability, responsibility & dependability allowing the others to flourish around him. These traits are ones that have been lacked by young emerging Pakistan batsmen in the past who have been accused & guilty of excessive flashiness, ill disciplined stroke play & reckless flair.

Achievements include:-

ICC emerging player of the year short listed nominee 2011

Highest average, run scorer, individual score in Pak-Eng series 2012 in UAE

Pakistan’s highest run scorer for Pakistan – South Africa series 2010 in UAE with 3 half centuries & unbeaten 135 ball 28* in a creditable fourth innings drawn effort with the team in trouble

Made the highest individual score on Pakistan’s tour of England in 2010 during a test win at the Oval

Highest average & most 50+ scores in the Pakistan-Sri Lanka test series in the UAE in 2011

Most catches in the 2011 Faysal Bank Twenty20 playing for Lahore Eagles

In the top 10 quickest Pakistan batsmen to score 1000 runs in test cricket

MOTM during the 3rd test between Pakistan – England in Dubai which completed a historical whitewash in February 2012

Highest average by a Pakistan batsmen in the ODIs against England in February 2012 in UAE

Most 50+ scores by a Pakistan batsmen in 2011 with 8 of them

One of two fielders to have taken 11 or more catches by a Pakistan test cricketer in 2011

At one stage in 2011 Azhar had 7 50s, 2 unbeaten scores & 1 century in the space of 10 innings from the St Kitts test in the West Indies till the end of the third test against Sri Lanka

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