Tuesday, August 11, 2020

How long will Pakistan persist with Azhar Ali the batsman?

A lot has been said about Azhar Ali's captaincy in the Old Trafford test against England.

I will reserve my comments on his test captaincy, given it is only 7 tests old. He is an inexperienced captain no doubt and 7 tests is no measure to judge one's ability.

My problem is with Azhar Ali the batsman.

Azhar was supposed to be the one to take the baton from Younis and Misbah, following their retirement. 

Similar to how it was passed on from Javed Miandad to Salim Malik to Inzamam Ul Haq to Mohammad Yousuf to Younis Khan over the past 3 decades.

Azhar had all the ingredients to become a test batting great for Pakistan. 

In the 7 years under Misbah he blossomed as a test batsman. He has the most runs for Pakistan in tests at the number 3 position; more than Younis Khan.

As an opener he flourished too, becoming only the second Pakistani opener to score a triply century in tests. He also knocked a double ton at the MCG.

He averaged closed to 50 in those 7 years.

But when the time came to become the senior statesman of Pakistan's test side, his form deserted him.

Losing form happens to everyone. 

But losing form for 3 years is a cause for concern.

Pakistan cannot afford to keep a batsman who has not been in the runs for over 3 years!

The difference between Azhar Ali's performance during Misbah's tenure and after is drastic.

A batsman who is averaging 27 in tests over the past 3 years does not command a position in the team, let alone at the crucial number 3 position.

Pakistan cannot continue to persist with him. 

Unless something changes significantly, I feel Azhar's career will be over soon. He was on the verge of achieving a test average of 50; instead it has fallen to 42 in the past 3 years.

It is all about the mindset really. Batting while knowing that Younis and Misbah are in line to bat is surely a lot easier than batting and thinking that you need to take on the burden as there is a lot of inexperience to follow.

Unfortunately I do not see how anything can change.

It is sad that a batsman who could have been one of the best produced by Pakistan will end his career as just an average test batsman.

The question now only is, how long will the selectors persist with him?

Make your pitch on this post...

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7 Pitched:

  1. Unknown said...

    He should never have been given the captaincy let alone return into the test team there is far better talent out there Wich he is holding back

  2. Bilal S said...

    Good and insightful as always. On a side note, we might as well try Asad Shafiq for test captaincy.

  3. guptabrij said...

    Nice blog keep on wring more like these it will also motivate us
    Who is a great cricketer in your opinion

  4. oldpaper said...

    Also Read -Delhi Capitals Game-Changing Moments

  5. Unknown said...

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