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  1. #1
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    Azhar Ali's resilience and experience makes him an important asset for Pakistan in ODIs

    In his latest article for FirstPost Sports, Saj discusses how Azhar Ali’s confidence in ODI format will help Pakistan achieve greater things in the future.




    When Azhar Ali, along with his proud captain and teammates, lifted the 2017 Champions Trophy at The Oval on the 18 June, there was visible relief on his face. One reason for that emotion would be Pakistan’s fantastic run of four victories which culminated in defeating their arch-rivals India in the final of an ICC tournament. The other would be his personal satisfaction for defying critics who had predicted dire results for his side due to Azhar’s involvement with the Pakistan ODI team.

    But Azhar had been there before and it was his inner belief and the support of Pakistan’s head coach Mickey Arthur and captain Sarfraz Ahmed that more than likely helped him through the Champions Trophy, where his innings of 59 in the all-important final left naysayers with egg on their faces.

    It was almost seven years ago in 2010 that the then 25-year-old Azhar walked onto the field to face the Australian team at Lord’s in his Test debut. His innings lasted 45 minutes before he was sent back to the pavilion by Ben Hilfenhaus for 16 off 43 deliveries. This was a time when the highly talented Mohammad Amir was setting new standards of excellence for Pakistan, and Azhar’s debut innings was considered another sign of the talent that the country had to offer.

    Unfortunately for Pakistan, what followed next in that English summer with the spot-fixing scandal would knock the wind out of many a Pakistan supporters, but if there was a positive outcome of that tour, it had to be Azhar's dogged determination — a quality which would fast become the hallmark of his career in the future.

    His reputation as a dependable lieutenant for the indefatigable Misbah-ul-Haq was established with some consistently excellent innings. The sky appeared to the be the limit for a batsman who was considered by some as a player of limited means in terms of stroke play. Whilst he was one of the many young Pakistan players who were deprived of playing in front of their home crowds due to the tragic events of March 2009, Azhar’s progress continued unabated with crucial Test performances against the world’s top teams.

    His Test credentials were never in doubt, but in 2014/14, he suffered a serious decline in his Test form and he was dropped for the first two Tests against Sri Lanka in the UAE. However, unfazed by this temporary setback, he roared back in to Test cricket with a defiant match-winning 103 against Sri Lanka in Sharjah in the final Test match of the series.

    More Test glory was to come in the shape of some fantastic and memorable performances that would endear Azhar to Pakistan’s Test cricket supporters. His penchant for playing big innings with patience and determination seem to make him a natural selection for Test matches. With Misbah and Younis Khan approaching the ends of their careers, this could only be welcome news for Pakistan. Out of his 14 centuries, some of the most memorable innings from Azhar include the triple-hundred against the West Indies in the landmark pink-ball Test at Dubai, double-hundreds against Bangladesh and Australia and a fighting 137 against England in the summer of 2016.

    While his suitability for the longer format of the game was never in question, Azhar’s career in the ODI format took an unexpected turn after the retirement of Misbah from ODIs in 2015. Being named as Pakistan’s next captain when he was not an automatic pick in that format became a major challenge for the man generally considered an able successor to Misbah in Tests.

    To say that Azhar had to endure a torrid period in his career after being appointed as ODI captain would be an understatement. The word nightmare would be a better description for his poor record of 12 wins and 18 losses. Apart from the pressure of not being able to consistently perform in ODIs as skipper, Azhar had to suffer the ignominy of series losses to Bangladesh, New Zealand, England (twice) and Australia. It therefore wasn't a major shock when he was summarily replaced by Sarfraz as Pakistan’s ODI captain for the tour of West Indies in early 2017. Possibly disheartened by the barrage of criticism or pushed in that direction by the powers that be, Azhar also resigned from the post of vice-captain of the Pakistan Test side.

    His removal as ODI captain and subsequent exclusion from the ODI squad for the tour of the West Indies would have been great setbacks for the soft-spoken opener. However, the selectors threw a lifeline to the 32-year-old and gave him a second chance to establish himself in the ODI team when they chose him for Pakistan’s Champions Trophy squad. The furore over his selection and continued participation in the matches during the tournament was fierce bur Azhar did not waver in his resolve. The rest, as they say, is history.

    Not regarded as a natural selection for the 50-over format, Azhar’s performance in the Champions Trophy seems to have injected new life to his ODI career. His glorious Test record of 60 Test matches with an average of 46.86 speaks volumes about his importance to the Test side, where he keeps on piling up the runs and defying the critics. Now with Misbah and Younis retired, Azhar's role is of even greater significance and he will have to step up as the leader of the Pakistan Test batting pack.

    However, as Pakistan supporters discovered to their delight during Pakistan’s Champions Trophy campaign this summer, the advantage of an experienced hand at the top of the innings was as important a factor as the explosive power of a rookie in the shape of Fakhar Zaman. What Azhar delivered during the tournament under extreme pressure from the opposition as well as the media was an example of his resilience which Pakistan can put to good use in the coming years. Whilst youngsters such as Hasan Ali, Shadab Khan, Fakhar and Faheem Ashraf may well bring further joy to Pakistan cricket, it is also evident that Azhar’s new-found confidence in the 50-over format will help Pakistan achieve greater achievements in the future.

    The critics keep chirping away at the humble Azhar, but frankly it's water off a duck's back as he keeps on producing crucial and timely performances, particularly when his country needs them the most.

    http://www.firstpost.com/sports/azha...t-3761363.html
    Last edited by MenInG; 30th June 2017 at 12:45.

  2. #2
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    Azhar u can see gives his 100% when hes out there. But all it will take is Fakhar's form to dip and we will go back to scraping 250 in ODIs. we need sarfraz n hafeez to switch positions. Hafeez n Babar together suck the life out of our innings

  3. #3
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    What was Azhar's strike rate this tournament - 74

    The same problems were there : slow up front, bogged down when the field goes back

    People are giving him a pass because he tries and is a nice guy. these aren't the qualifications of a sportsman

    All it would have taken was a Fahkar failure for Azhar to be exposed again.

    The best teams improve during their victories. Our bowling won't always get people out below 240.

    For anyone that says stability is needed a middle order that will contain Babar, Haris and sarfraz does more than that


    "Last time Uganda toured Canada, half their team ran away to start a new life" - cricfan967

  4. #4
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    Great write up once again.

    Am glad one of the smart people like @Saj shares the same view as me. What some of the silly people do not realise is that you can't simply drop a player who has earned his spot in the team as it stands and his selection by Inzi in fact payed off in the CT; Azhar was the only player who stood tall in the group defeat against India, he did not let the situation consume him and it was his ressilience, mental strength and warrior spirit which was pivotal once again in the final.

    Azhar batted like a man possessed and batted like his life depended on it, Fakhar was under immense pressure but it was Azhar who helped him a great deal to get through that tricky period. Opposites attract and Fakhar/Azhar may just be what Pakistan need as far as our opening pair are concerned, they broke multiple records sharing 100+ opening stands; our first in god knows how long ! Chemistry is everything and with someone like Fakhar at the top we could benefit from a player who stays at the crease till the very end and puts a heavy price on his wicket.

    Not saying Azhar will be a success for sure in the long run or that someone like Sahibzada Farhan who I am a big fan of should not come in but as it stands Azhar deserves to be in the ODI team and does not deserve to be dropped. We must reward performances in high pressure scenario's and he has delivered, it is in such circumstances where we can separate those who are not cut for the task and those who are consumed by the pressure from those who thrive in the situation. Inzi banked on Azhar's mental strength and in a final as we saw his selection was justified.
    Last edited by shaz619; 30th June 2017 at 14:19.


    Ah, so this is what it feels like

  5. #5
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    Not an ODI batsman


    Kuch to log kahenge
    Logon ka kaam hai kehna

  6. #6
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    I disagree, you want to invest in ODI a player who can make run a ball 100 in top 3/4 positions. We are not going to chase less than 250 all the time. We had same problem in Misbah's era. He does not have 4/5th gear, nor does he rotate the strike. We should not settle for him, need to look for better options.

    Sharjeel is a more aggressive option, while Harris is a solid option. We will see more in next PSL, if we want to make our batting modern; Azhar, Malik,Hafeez cannot be permanent members of the team. Nobody fears them, they are not match winners, top 5 should be match winners on their day, these guys that day never comes. England route is better to modernize batting. Pakistan fortunate to have modern and versatile bowlers, batting needs to be pushed as well...I had little problem with them, if they could rotate, they are dud against fast bowlers, completely dead bats, that is going nowhere, western teams are going to give us only one spinner, they know our weakness. Even Fahim looked better puller and hooker than all 4(Sarfraz included), he plays fast bowling better, that tells me seniors are behind the modern game. They are not good role model either, works in test in Asia, nobody question Azhar's position in test, he is the best opener...


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  7. #7
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    His innings in the final was very good because Fakhar was slow at the start and it was Azhar who kept it afloat until Fakhar got going which was after about 10 overs


    If you always do what you have always done, you will always get what you always got #improve

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by shaz619 View Post

    Azhar batted like a man possessed and batted like his life depended on it,
    exactly, he did that this entire tournament and despite trying his utmost his strike rate was 74, he wont always have the luxury of small totals and a guying going full tilt the other end.

    Yes he deserves credit but people are going over the top.

    Like you said we cant drop him, but neither should he get a long rope and off course his scoring rate can't be accepted


    "Last time Uganda toured Canada, half their team ran away to start a new life" - cricfan967

  9. #9
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    Azhar deserves a couple of series.Hit two crucial 100+ partnerships with Fakhar in the SF and Final.They also had a 74 run stand vs SL.Hit 3 fifties in the tourney.Was well set against India in the final but was unfortunately run out.

    He will be going nowhere after his good performance in the tournament.

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by pakistanigoneaussie View Post
    Like you said we cant drop him, but neither should he get a long rope and off course his scoring rate can't be accepted
    Basically my opinion,he can't be dropped for now.

  11. #11
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    Bring in Khurram Manzoor,shift Azhar to the middle order

    1:Fakhar Zaman
    2:Khurram Manzoor
    3:Babar Azam
    4:Azhar Ali
    5:Sarfraz Ahmed
    6:Imad Wasim
    7:Amir Yamin
    8:Shadab Khan
    9:Amir
    10:Hassan
    11:Junaid

  12. #12
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    Azhar had 2 good games in the CT after years of awfulness

    His success is highly dependent on Fakhar playing well. His typical innings of 34 (51) is absolutely catastrophic for the team success


    'I was shivering facing Akhtar' -Tendulkar

  13. #13
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    Azhar is a stop-gap solution until Sharjeel returns. He's a hard worker and I appreciate him for being so determined...but he can't bat at 3 and can't open if both Fakhar and Sharjeel are available.

  14. #14
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    He is a limited player and plays too many dot balls upfront. He is not an ODI batsman and needs to go.

  15. #15
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    Azhar with his determination and grit always be a viable option. I am undecided about Azhar but think he deserves to stay on for atleast the next 2 series. Azhar could learn a great deal from Dravid. When Dravid ended his career he had the potential to bat at a high strike rate taking very minimal risk. If he can continue to improve his game there's no reason why he can't play more ODIs for Pakistan.

    Ideally I want Sharjeel and Azhar to open with Babar Azam at 3 and Fakhar at 4.

  16. #16
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    Quote Originally Posted by pakistanigoneaussie View Post
    exactly, he did that this entire tournament and despite trying his utmost his strike rate was 74, he wont always have the luxury of small totals and a guying going full tilt the other end.

    Yes he deserves credit but people are going over the top.

    Like you said we cant drop him, but neither should he get a long rope and off course his scoring rate can't be accepted
    Yet Azhar Ali succeeded in the final and the naturally gifted but mentally weak Virat Kohli failed.

    He performed better then everyone else in the group game defeat, could have been better vs SA/SL but then delivered emphatically in the final when it mattered most. So stats do not always tell the entire story.

    I would pick Azhar everday day of the week to bat in a final over a mentally weak player and twice on a Sunday.

    And how shameless are fans when they berate players even after they deliver! Did that egg on their face somehow affect the neurology in their brain as well! It seems to me they still can't accept Azhar's epic knock in the final
    Last edited by shaz619; 30th June 2017 at 17:12.

  17. #17
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    Azhar has been pretty decent in ODIs although not very exciting but with such a fragile batting line up he at least does something consistently. I am sure batting with someone like Fakhar he may actually improve on his strike rate which is what he gets rebuked for all the time.

  18. #18
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    Quote Originally Posted by Billy1999 View Post
    Bring in Khurram Manzoor,shift Azhar to the middle order

    1:Fakhar Zaman
    2:Khurram Manzoor
    3:Babar Azam
    4:Azhar Ali
    5:Sarfraz Ahmed
    6:Imad Wasim
    7:Amir Yamin
    8:Shadab Khan
    9:Amir
    10:Hassan
    11:Junaid
    Khurram ka khumaar utarne ke liye kya karna padega bhai. Wake up its 2017.

  19. #19
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    Quote Originally Posted by pakistanigoneaussie View Post
    exactly, he did that this entire tournament and despite trying his utmost his strike rate was 74, he wont always have the luxury of small totals and a guying going full tilt the other end.

    Yes he deserves credit but people are going over the top.

    Like you said we cant drop him, but neither should he get a long rope and off course his scoring rate can't be accepted
    Quote Originally Posted by coy0607 View Post
    Azhar had 2 good games in the CT after years of awfulness

    His success is highly dependent on Fakhar playing well. His typical innings of 34 (51) is absolutely catastrophic for the team success
    Quote Originally Posted by shaz619 View Post
    Yet Azhar Ali succeeded in the final and the naturally gifted but mentally weak Virat Kohli failed.

    He performed better then everyone else in the group game defeat, could have been better vs SA/SL but then delivered emphatically in the final when it mattered most. So stats do not always tell the entire story.

    I would pick Azhar everday day of the week to bat in a final over a mentally weak player and twice on a Sunday.

    And how shameless are fans when they berate players even after they deliver! Did that egg on their face somehow affect the neurology in their brain as well! It seems to me they still can't accept Azhar's epic knock in the final
    Here is how I see it.

    Azhar’s integrity, character and dedication to serve Pakistan has never been in doubt. He has certainly improved in the shorter format, and he performed particularly well in the final. As a result, Azhar has earnt a run in the team providing he can keep that strike rate up as he did against India in the Final (83). However, let’s not forget he finished the CT with a strike-rate of 74.02. If he wants to stay in ODIs he needs to get that up to at least 85.

    He will be 34 by the time of the 2019 WC so if he doesn't make progress quickly then PCT should start looking elsewhere. His place in the side shouldn’t come at the cost of a younger player who is better-suited to the demands of modern ODI cricket.

    One final thought: Azhar is more likely to succeed in ODIs if the middle/lower order is composed of aggressive batsmen who he can bat around. Let’s hope that happens soon.

    Thoughts welcome.

  20. #20
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    Quote Originally Posted by kaifmazhar View Post
    Khurram ka khumaar utarne ke liye kya karna padega bhai. Wake up its 2017.
    He does average 50 in list A cricket

  21. #21
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    Quote Originally Posted by shaz619 View Post
    Yet Azhar Ali succeeded in the final and the naturally gifted but mentally weak Virat Kohli failed.

    He performed better then everyone else in the group game defeat, could have been better vs SA/SL but then delivered emphatically in the final when it mattered most. So stats do not always tell the entire story.

    I would pick Azhar everday day of the week to bat in a final over a mentally weak player and twice on a Sunday.

    And how shameless are fans when they berate players even after they deliver! Did that egg on their face somehow affect the neurology in their brain as well! It seems to me they still can't accept Azhar's epic knock in the final
    Sorry you lost all credibility now

    Azhar ali is now better than an ATG batsmen. You know waqar was never that flash in finals , Bhuvi Kumar must be better than waqar right ?

    What insanity

    This what I mean by over the top


    "Last time Uganda toured Canada, half their team ran away to start a new life" - cricfan967

  22. #22
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    Quote Originally Posted by pakistanigoneaussie View Post
    Sorry you lost all credibility now

    Azhar ali is now better than an ATG batsmen. You know waqar was never that flash in finals , Bhuvi Kumar must be better than waqar right ?

    What insanity

    This what I mean by over the top
    What a moronic post, which point have I made that you are specifically responding to which I have made? or is this the extent of your response after being unable to come up with a valid retort.


    Ah, so this is what it feels like

  23. #23
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    Quote Originally Posted by pakistanigoneaussie View Post
    What was Azhar's strike rate this tournament - 74

    The same problems were there : slow up front, bogged down when the field goes back

    People are giving him a pass because he tries and is a nice guy. these aren't the qualifications of a sportsman

    All it would have taken was a Fahkar failure for Azhar to be exposed again.

    The best teams improve during their victories. Our bowling won't always get people out below 240.

    For anyone that says stability is needed a middle order that will contain Babar, Haris and sarfraz does more than that
    This is pretty much spot on.

    Azhar didn't do much of note and was quite lucky Zaman fired in all 4 of his innings, otherwise Azhar would have bogged down.

    We are applauding a top order batsman finishing a tournament with a strike rate of 74, while several players who have just been ousted have been going at the same rate and received a lot of criticism.

    The only time I was convinced he could become an alright ODI player was his first few series' as Captain, as he was batting well with good scores and strike rates to back it up. But he has dipped ever since.

    He deserves couple more series' to see if he can improve further, however, he will get exposed sooner than later.

  24. #24
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    I Can tell you this, if Bumrah had one short-leg (literally), we would have been praying for Azhar to play an innings to save us

    He is the backstop we need when one player is clearly the risk taker.


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    Quote Originally Posted by MenInG View Post
    I Can tell you this, if Bumrah had one short-leg (literally), we would have been praying for Azhar to play an innings to save us

    He is the backstop we need when one player is clearly the risk taker.
    Name one odi that Azhar has one us one his own, honest question

    Fahkar getting the no ball was as big as a deal for Azhar as it was for Fahkar.

    Azhar needs him just like he needed sharjeel, and unlike Babar Azhar won't be improving at the age of 33


    "Last time Uganda toured Canada, half their team ran away to start a new life" - cricfan967

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    Quote Originally Posted by shaz619 View Post
    What a moronic post, which point have I made that you are specifically responding to which I have made? or is this the extent of your response after being unable to come up with a valid retort.
    The only moronic statements flying around is you pontificating over a 50 at a strike rate of 83

    It was good, call it very good given context but the same flaws where there, even if Azhar gets off to a flyer he shows down as the innings progress, criminal given there are only 3 fielders back. Yet this is somehow epic ?

    I'll ask you the same question name me an odi in which Azhar was the primary contributor to a win? Honest question does one even exist

    Yet here we are acting as if he is the future. This is the one downside to incredible victories , people ignore obvious flaws
    Last edited by Abdullah719; 30th June 2017 at 20:35.

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    Quote Originally Posted by pakistanigoneaussie View Post
    What was Azhar's strike rate this tournament - 74

    The same problems were there : slow up front, bogged down when the field goes back

    People are giving him a pass because he tries and is a nice guy. these aren't the qualifications of a sportsman

    All it would have taken was a Fahkar failure for Azhar to be exposed again.

    The best teams improve during their victories. Our bowling won't always get people out below 240.

    For anyone that says stability is needed a middle order that will contain Babar, Haris and sarfraz does more than that
    His innings in the CT final was a crucial one especially very early in the inns while Fakhar was struggling to put bat on ball...

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    Pakistan has produced brilliant openers over the past 40 years but no opener played a pivotal part in defeating India in ICC Tournament. People praise Saeed Anwar's 194 against India but he failed in Bangalore 96 QF, Old Trafford 1999 and played a slow innings in 2003 WC on a belter. Inzamam failed as an opener in 1992 against India, Aamir Sohail failed in 1992/1996 world cup games against India.What about openers in 2011/2015 world cup games against India ? They failed. Azhar Ali's innings against India in Biggest Match of all in the history of Pakistan since 1992 produced a "WIN" that too against India. Our past openers always choked against India but not Azhar. I will happily take Azhar's 59 rather than Saeed's useless 194 against India in ICC Match.

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    Yes he played out of his skin at the Champions Trophy, but it is extremely clear that he is not capable of playing the brand of cricket that we want and need to play. We may not have a ready-made replacement at this point, but we need to keep looking. It doesn't matter if it is Sahibzada Farhan or the returning Sharjeel or Shahzaib or a mentally strong Amin; we need another opener who can regularly strike at 90+, rather than huff and puff to a strike rate of 80 at best.

    My biggest worry when The Revolutionary reselected Azhar was that he might score some inconsequential half-centuries and cement his place in the side again. Unfortunately, that has happened again and he will continue to be picked. This is where I hope that Arthur steps up and makes a call. He is too professional to not realize that Azhar is misfit in the ODI team.

    At times, it might seem harsh, but you need to make the right calls at the right time after looking at the bigger picture. England axed Ian Bell after the 2015 World Cup even though he averaged 50+ and was their top scorer. The selectors knew that he was not capable of taking the team to the next level and our selectors and management need to take a leaf out of the same book.

    From Azhar's perspective - again, not going to happen - this is the ideal time for him to retire from ODIs on a high. He will bow out as a champion who played a pivotal role in a record-breaking thrashing of India in an ICC Championship final. It will never get better than that and he will never get a more golden opportunity of leaving on a better note. He is a top Test batsman and will probably finish as a Pakistan Test legend, but he is simply not an ODI player. Of course there is no shame in that, not everyone can be good at everything.

    However, if he keeps deluding himself that he can turn things around in ODIs, he will eventually dent his legacy like Younis.

  30. #30
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    Quote Originally Posted by ask_analyse_act View Post
    His innings in the CT final was a crucial one especially very early in the inns while Fakhar was struggling to put bat on ball...
    Quote Originally Posted by Sarwar89 View Post
    Pakistan has produced brilliant openers over the past 40 years but no opener played a pivotal part in defeating India in ICC Tournament. People praise Saeed Anwar's 194 against India but he failed in Bangalore 96 QF, Old Trafford 1999 and played a slow innings in 2003 WC on a belter. Inzamam failed as an opener in 1992 against India, Aamir Sohail failed in 1992/1996 world cup games against India.What about openers in 2011/2015 world cup games against India ? They failed. Azhar Ali's innings against India in Biggest Match of all in the history of Pakistan since 1992 produced a "WIN" that too against India. Our past openers always choked against India but not Azhar. I will happily take Azhar's 59 rather than Saeed's useless 194 against India in ICC Match.
    Exactly, the alleged experts are really gutted that Azhar played that knock; they've been unable to comprehend it and are still cleaning the egg of their faces. They need to man up and accept that they were wrong before repeatedly making themselves look like clowns. But this is Pakistan cricket fans, they can't be objective and belittle players for their English speaking skills.

    You wouldn't be able to tell Pakistan won the CT ! closet Indians posing as Pakistani's are still upset
    Last edited by shaz619; 30th June 2017 at 20:51.


    Ah, so this is what it feels like

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    Do you know anything about cricket ? You are giving example of England axing Ian Bell ? Has England ever won 50 Over ICC Tournament ? Which brand of cricket you are talking about ? Where were your legendary flamboyant Pak openers in Sydney 1992, Bangalore 96, Old Trafford 1999, Durban 2003, Mohali 2011, Johannesburg 2007, Adelaide 2015??? Forgot those days when Venkatesh Prasad used to bully Pakistani openers in world cup
    Games ?????? Azhar Ali cant be bullied. His 59 against India will
    Always remain a winning knock in history books.

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    True absolutely correct. Perhaps their so called favourite openers struggled against Venkatesh Prasad in ICC Matches. Trust me had it been Azhar Ali in that 228 run chase at Old Trafforrd Match in 1999, he would have stayed at one end and Moin khan would have played a winner.

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    Their favourite openers failed in 1987 World cup semi final, 1992 semi final and most importantly in 1992 and 1999 world cup finals. IQ level of some people is low in cricket therefore they neglect history. Azhar Ali neither failed in ICC Champions trophy Semi final neither final. I am saying this because some one will mention Saeed Anwar's knock in 1999 semi final. It was through Saeed our collapse started in 99 final.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Sarwar89 View Post
    Do you know anything about cricket ? You are giving example of England axing Ian Bell ? Has England ever won 50 Over ICC Tournament ? Which brand of cricket you are talking about ? Where were your legendary flamboyant Pak openers in Sydney 1992, Bangalore 96, Old Trafford 1999, Durban 2003, Mohali 2011, Johannesburg 2007, Adelaide 2015??? Forgot those days when Venkatesh Prasad used to bully Pakistani openers in world cup
    Games ?????? Azhar Ali cant be bullied. His 59 against India will
    Always remain a winning knock in history books.
    Your post has given enough clues how much you know about cricket, and I don't have the energy to walk you through bit by bit, but I will still summarize out of courtesy.

    Whether England has won an ODI tournament or not is emphatically irrelevant to the point I am trying to make that you attempted to butcher. The fact that they dropped a batsman who was their best at the World Cup because he was not quick enough shows that you have to make tough calls and look at the bigger picture instead of considering the last match or series only. The English selectors had the sense to realize that in spite of his success at the World Cup, he was an outdated ODI batsman and they dropped him.

    Since that World Cup, England have had a successful period in ODIs which would not have been possible had they persisted with Bell for the reasons that have been mentioned in this thread to justify his selection.

    Yes he played a good knock in the final, but it does not whitewash the years of failures in ODI cricket. The fact that his best innings of the tournament came at below par strike rate of 83 says everything that needs to be said about his caliber in ODIs.

    Brand of cricket? Yes, the brand of cricket that we played in the final that enabled us to score 330+, and the brand of cricket that we need to play to achieve a good ranking and consistent results in ODIs. Pakistan will continue to struggle to post big totals with Azhar as opener. Fakhar will not score a century at a 100+ strike rate in every match and Azhar will not punch above his weight to score at a strike rate of 80+ all the time.

    Yes great job in juxtaposing 92, 96, 99 etc. with 2017. What is the point of making cross-era comparisons? Azhar would have been an excellent ODI opener in an era where 75 was a great strike rate and 250 was a match-winning total. However, this is 2017 where anything less than 100 is considered slow and anything below 300 is not a great total to defend. Azhar with his <80 strike rate in ODIs - with almost no chance of improving at this age - is a massive hurdle in our quest to modernizing our ODI game.

    Venkatesh Prasad has retired and this isn't the 90's anymore. This is 2017 where we are well below the top 5 ranking in spite of winning the Champions Trophy. If our goal is to be a top ODI team then we have to move on from Test players like Azhar.

    Yes his innings will remain a winning knock in history books, but that does not make him entitled to selection when he clearly doesn't belong.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Sarwar89 View Post
    Their favourite openers failed in 1987 World cup semi final, 1992 semi final and most importantly in 1992 and 1999 world cup finals. IQ level of some people is low in cricket therefore they neglect history. Azhar Ali neither failed in ICC Champions trophy Semi final neither final. I am saying this because some one will mention Saeed Anwar's knock in 1999 semi final. It was through Saeed our collapse started in 99 final.

    Yeah he is a superior ODI opener to Saeed Anwar. His legendary half-century at an outrageous strike rate of 83 trumps everything that Saeed Anwar achieved in his ODI career and in World Cups.
    Last edited by Muhammad10; 30th June 2017 at 21:54.

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    He performed okay in the tournament, and there are no ready replacements, so Azhar can stay in the team until the 2019 WC at the latest.

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    Your argument is flawed. Facing india in ICC match require balls, it has nothing to do with strike rate. Sharjeel Khan failed spectacularly along with Ahmed Shahzad in T20 World Cup group stage match against India. Sharjeel's slow start and eventual timid dismissal (16 from 25 balls) costed Pakistan the match. Ahmed Shahzad struggled as well. Both of them came with heavy reputations from PSL and yet failed to deliver against India at Eden Gardens in 2016. So Sharjeel
    Is modern Player right ? He is aggressive right ? What happened to him that night at Eden Gardens?. Azhar Ali bullied Ashwin with a giant 6 in Final. Unlike your fav aggressive openers who chickened out. Talking about England, your argument is flawed, Michael Vaughan, Ian Botham etc all are questioning that Josh Buttler is just a Flat trackbully so is Jason Roy. England with their timid approach reached Final of ICC Champions trophy in 2004/2013 and this current team could not even make it to the final. Your narrative lacks substance.

  38. #38
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    Quote Originally Posted by Sarwar89 View Post
    Your argument is flawed. Facing india in ICC match require balls, it has nothing to do with strike rate. Sharjeel Khan failed spectacularly along with Ahmed Shahzad in T20 World Cup group stage match against India. Sharjeel's slow start and eventual timid dismissal (16 from 25 balls) costed Pakistan the match. Ahmed Shahzad struggled as well. Both of them came with heavy reputations from PSL and yet failed to deliver against India at Eden Gardens in 2016. So Sharjeel
    Is modern Player right ? He is aggressive right ? What happened to him that night at Eden Gardens?. Azhar Ali bullied Ashwin with a giant 6 in Final. Unlike your fav aggressive openers who chickened out. Talking about England, your argument is flawed, Michael Vaughan, Ian Botham etc all are questioning that Josh Buttler is just a Flat trackbully so is Jason Roy. England with their timid approach reached Final of ICC Champions trophy in 2004/2013 and this current team could not even make it to the final. Your narrative lacks substance.
    Yes, Azhar is better than both Saeed Anwar and Sharjeel. Similarly, Hafeez is better than Inzamam because Inzamam never delivered against India in ICC tournaments, but Hafeez played a quality innings in the final.

    Also, England should kick the likes of Buttler and Roy out for good and go back to the era of timidity. After all, they helped them to the final in 2004 and 2013 but the modern players failed to replicate that in 2017. After all, everything else has remained constant from 2004 and 2013 so the players who took them to the finals in those editions would have done the same in this edition.

    England should kick these players out and bring back Trott, Bell, Cook etc. to the ODI team.
    Last edited by Muhammad10; 30th June 2017 at 21:55.

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    Mr Mamoon. The Answer is Yes. Azhar Ali has Test 300 as well. None of your favorite openers have even crossed 250 in Test Arena. Indo
    Pak matches in ICC build and destroy reputations. ( Imran's team in 92 won the World Cup that is why Sydney 92 defeat has never caught public imagination). Ajay Jadeja with mediocre career is always regarded for his carnage in Bangalore 96 Quarter Final. He scored 45 only but thats wht is remembered. Prasad a useless bowler, his 5 wickets (1999) are regarded in high esteem because it was in ICC event. I give monkey peantus to what Aamir or Saeed or Sharjeel or Shahzad have done in their careers, cuz against India in ICC events, all of them never registered a match winning knock. Muhammad Yousaf is the only other person to play well against India in ICC matches.

  40. #40
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    Quote Originally Posted by Sarwar89 View Post
    Mr Mamoon. The Answer is Yes. Azhar Ali has Test 300 as well. None of your favorite openers have even crossed 250 in Test Arena. Indo
    Pak matches in ICC build and destroy reputations. ( Imran's team in 92 won the World Cup that is why Sydney 92 defeat has never caught public imagination). Ajay Jadeja with mediocre career is always regarded for his carnage in Bangalore 96 Quarter Final. He scored 45 only but thats wht is remembered. Prasad a useless bowler, his 5 wickets (1999) are regarded in high esteem because it was in ICC event. I give monkey peantus to what Aamir or Saeed or Sharjeel or Shahzad have done in their careers, cuz against India in ICC events, all of them never registered a match winning knock. Muhammad Yousaf is the only other person to play well against India in ICC matches.
    So we agree that Azhar Ali is better than Saeed Anwar because he delivered against India in a tournament and has a Test 300.

    We also agree that Hafeez is better than Inzamam in ODIs because the only thing you care about is performances against India in ICC events, since you give monkey peanuts to other performances and matches.

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    Did a good job in the CT but he's not an ODI player.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Hasan123 View Post
    Did a good job in the CT but he's not an ODI player.
    Yet ATG Virat Kohli who is an ODI player failed in the final and Azhar did not when it mattered, you shouldn't let that distract you or the fact that Azhar will be selected in ODI's moving forward whether you like it or not.


    Ah, so this is what it feels like

  43. #43
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    I see some hypocritical / attention seeking posts from Hashim Amla haters who criticises his lack of impact in ICC tournament but wants to berate one of the best innings ever by a Pakistani batsman in an ICC tournament which resulted in a trophy


    Ah, so this is what it feels like

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    Very good analysis by Saj!
    I am surprised after reading the views of some posters. They at all cost want the ousting of Azhar from the team ,despite he was the second highest scorer in Pakistani team. Had he not been in the time for this champions trophy , I m sure the results would have been very different . The darling of PP Sharjeel the hack would have been back to the pavilion in half of the matches without giving a start let alone a good start. Some fans sure have dementia if they can't recall that Pakistani team has a habit of falling like nine pins.Azhar ali brings much needed stability ,that is a must thing for the moment. He should be part of the team and should be replaced only by a good batsman not by any hack .

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    One of the individuals who puts his all and gives everything he has on the field without machismo and drum beating. Arguably our best test batsman and on road to become a Pakistani great in test matches.One of my favourite individuals of all time from Pakistan.

    However,as far as his ODI career is concerned I think he just isn't made for our modern day ODI team which we crave for and have to make a brand out of it.The fact that Azhar Ali's best innings have come at a strike rate of around 80 sums up the fact that he isn't the opener that we need in our team.

    The fact that we need to understand here is that we have a team that constitutes the players who are grafters and can play the sheet anchor role really well as Babar,Sarfaraz and even Hafeez/Malik have shown.So,that makes it imperitive for Pakistan team to have other players who aren't in the same mould as these players and that is where I feel Azhar is a misfit.

    He might have been a brilliant player of yesteryears and even for a team that has a dynamic batting line up and who like to play their shots.Those teams do need players in the mould of Azhar to play the sheet anchor but not the case with Pakistan who have enough players to play Azhar's role in the team.

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    Quote Originally Posted by shaz619 View Post
    Yet ATG Virat Kohli who is an ODI player failed in the final and Azhar did not when it mattered, you shouldn't let that distract you or the fact that Azhar will be selected in ODI's moving forward whether you like it or not.
    I didn't say anything about Kohli. Azhar's inability to rotate strike and shift gears in LO has nothing to do with Kohli.

    I said he did a good job in the CT but he's not going to get better then he did in CT. Let him concentrate on tests.

  47. #47
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    Quote Originally Posted by Hasan123 View Post
    I didn't say anything about Kohli. Azhar's inability to rotate strike and shift gears in LO has nothing to do with Kohli.

    I said he did a good job in the CT but he's not going to get better then he did in CT. Let him concentrate on tests.
    I merely pointed out the facts of the matter, Azhar can't do x,y or z and is not as gifted as ATG Kohli yet he delivered for his team in the final but he should focus on Tests alone.

    Do posters not realise how stupid they sound?


    Ah, so this is what it feels like

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    Quote Originally Posted by Mamoon View Post
    Yes he played out of his skin at the Champions Trophy, but it is extremely clear that he is not capable of playing the brand of cricket that we want and need to play. We may not have a ready-made replacement at this point, but we need to keep looking. It doesn't matter if it is Sahibzada Farhan or the returning Sharjeel or Shahzaib or a mentally strong Amin; we need another opener who can regularly strike at 90+, rather than huff and puff to a strike rate of 80 at best.

    My biggest worry when The Revolutionary reselected Azhar was that he might score some inconsequential half-centuries and cement his place in the side again. Unfortunately, that has happened again and he will continue to be picked. This is where I hope that Arthur steps up and makes a call. He is too professional to not realize that Azhar is misfit in the ODI team.

    At times, it might seem harsh, but you need to make the right calls at the right time after looking at the bigger picture. England axed Ian Bell after the 2015 World Cup even though he averaged 50+ and was their top scorer. The selectors knew that he was not capable of taking the team to the next level and our selectors and management need to take a leaf out of the same book.

    From Azhar's perspective - again, not going to happen - this is the ideal time for him to retire from ODIs on a high. He will bow out as a champion who played a pivotal role in a record-breaking thrashing of India in an ICC Championship final. It will never get better than that and he will never get a more golden opportunity of leaving on a better note. He is a top Test batsman and will probably finish as a Pakistan Test legend, but he is simply not an ODI player. Of course there is no shame in that, not everyone can be good at everything.

    However, if he keeps deluding himself that he can turn things around in ODIs, he will eventually dent his legacy like Younis.
    Very good post

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    Azhar can be the 3rd opener(till WC 19), Fakhar should open until Sahibzada and Sharjeel gets to play. Once they both come, Fakhar should move to middle order.

    1.Sharjeel
    2.Sahibzada
    3.Babar
    4.Harris
    5.Fakhar(As he's good against spin and you need some hitter in the middle order)
    6.Sarfraz
    7.Faheem/ Imad
    8.Shadab
    9.Amir
    10.Hassan
    11.Junaid

    12.Azhar
    13.Rizwan(As u need a backup keeper for WC)
    14.Imad/ Faheem
    15.Rumaan

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    Fakhars positive and violent batting up front papered over the cracks of Azhars snail like batting at other end, he eats up to many dot balls and is just to slow with his run scoring. Like a few have said wait for Zaman to fail and you will soon see Azhar exposed for being slow.

    CT win or not pakistans batting needs to improve!

  51. #51
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    Quote Originally Posted by Amjid Javed View Post
    Fakhars positive and violent batting up front papered over the cracks of Azhars snail like batting at other end, he eats up to many dot balls and is just to slow with his run scoring. Like a few have said wait for Zaman to fail and you will soon see Azhar exposed for being slow.

    CT win or not pakistans batting needs to improve!
    You should not go by the live scorecards and watch the game itself, Fakhar was partly able to get out of the blocks in the final due to Azhar's batting and intent. He struggled big time for his first 50 runs and were it not for Azhar taking pressure of him at the other end he could have been back in the pavillion.

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    He has recently been removed from captaincy, let him play some ODIs as a team player may be this time he will do different. I totally understand he has limited ability but he is a hardworking person. If he cannot deliver it even as a team player then for sure drop him.


    “Be yourself; everyone else is already taken.”

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    with Sharjeel gone, he's Pakistan's only chance to have a decent opening pair

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    During Year 2015 when he started as a captain his average (45) and his strike rate(84) was good and until the end of 2015 he has decent statistics but then his performance started regressing...don't know was it the criticism which impacted his performances or was it his weakness which get exposed ??


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    Quote Originally Posted by shaz619 View Post
    You should not go by the live scorecards and watch the game itself, Fakhar was partly able to get out of the blocks in the final due to Azhar's batting and intent. He struggled big time for his first 50 runs and were it not for Azhar taking pressure of him at the other end he could have been back in the pavillion.
    i watched all Pakistans games on TV during ICC tourney and one thing stood out in all of those games Azhars inability to rotate the strike, score runs quickly once the field went back and most of all eat up dot balls. Even when Azhar managed to score "so called quickly" it was by normal ODI standards pretty slow. Hes a limited ODI player and always will be and it will come back to haunt pakistan in long run having him in the ODI side.

  56. #56
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    Quote Originally Posted by Amjid Javed View Post
    i watched all Pakistans games on TV during ICC tourney and one thing stood out in all of those games Azhars inability to rotate the strike, score runs quickly once the field went back and most of all eat up dot balls. Even when Azhar managed to score "so called quickly" it was by normal ODI standards pretty slow. Hes a limited ODI player and always will be and it will come back to haunt pakistan in long run having him in the ODI side.
    So you watched all of the games on live TV but remain one dimensional when it comes to your preconceived opinion on Azhar Ali.

    He performed better then everyone else in the group game defeat, could have been better vs SA/SL but then delivered emphatically in the final when it mattered most.

    Absolutely zero issues with Azhar's S/R in the final, in fact unless you were asleep you'd have picked up on Azhar taking pressure of Fakhtar who was very nervous and struggled to get out the blocks; in fact his S/R was very similar to Azhar's once he had completed his 50. Chemistry is everything and a guy who puts a heavy price on his wicket, delivers in crunch situations and on difficult wickets is gold so he will compliment Fakhtar quiet well; if Azhar can bat at 80+ S/R initially then that is completely fine by modern standards actually so enough with your can't rotate the strike crap, he is the mentally toughest batsman in the world right now; I think people just can't comprehend the fact that he delivered in the final, am shocked that there are still people levelling criticism towards him, when was the opening pair to share 100+ partnerships for Pak in ODI'? like 100000 BC right? there you go, BOOM.
    Last edited by shaz619; 3rd July 2017 at 13:59.


    Ah, so this is what it feels like

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    Azhar should be gone. We already have a top order player in Babar who scores more at a higher SR. Haris is another top order player with a better average and SR though we don't know if he will get back to his best or not.

    We have so many better opening options, Fakhar, Babar, possibly Haris, Sarfraz if we wanted, Sharjeel if he comes back. And I don't see Azhar batting down the order, he'll only play as an opener. We have plenty of accumulators, an Azhar type player isn't needed.

    Azhar struggles to rotate strike, find the gaps for the boundaries and clear the circle. He does very little right for the LOI game, his game just isn't adapted for it. It's much better to be progressive and look towards making a stronger side than keeping in players knowing they will always be flawed, never great ODI batsmen. I'd have hoped Azhar would have become useful to us with the ball, but that isn't happening with Hafeez and Zaman bowling over, not to mention the rise of Shadab a legspinner making Azhar's part time bowling less attractive.

    People are talking about Azhar's knock in the final, yes he played well, but as did others at higher SRs. And one big difference between Zaman and Azhar is Zaman is able to accelerate, Azhar isn't. I'm sure if Azhar didn't get out when he did, our total score would have been lower not higher.

  58. #58
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    Quote Originally Posted by shaz619 View Post
    So you watched all of the games on live TV but remain one dimensional when it comes to your preconceived opinion on Azhar Ali.

    He performed better then everyone else in the group game defeat, could have been better vs SA/SL but then delivered emphatically in the final when it mattered most.

    Absolutely zero issues with Azhar's S/R in the final, in fact unless you were asleep you'd have picked up on Azhar taking pressure of Fakhtar who was very nervous and struggled to get out the blocks; in fact his S/R was very similar to Azhar's once he had completed his 50. Chemistry is everything and a guy who puts a heavy price on his wicket, delivers in crunch situations and on difficult wickets is gold so he will compliment Fakhtar quiet well; if Azhar can bat at 80+ S/R initially then that is completely fine by modern standards actually so enough with your can't rotate the strike crap, he is the mentally toughest batsman in the world right now; I think people just can't comprehend the fact that he delivered in the final, am shocked that there are still people levelling criticism towards him, when was the opening pair to share 100+ partnerships for Pak in ODI'? like 100000 BC right? there you go, BOOM.
    he wasn't the only one watching. what is preconceived about what he said? did azhar just start to play odi cricket this year? what is the basis for calling him the mentally toughest batsman? the fact that he bats slower than anyone else, so often making it look much harder than it is? can we argue his merits as a player on the basis of single innings? he played one good knock in the final, for which he deserves immense credit, but it is simply a fact that he has been mediocre until then, and will likely continue to be mediocre. i don't mind giving him another series or two but i dont expect the final verdict to change. there are better options than him now, many.

  59. #59
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    Quote Originally Posted by New Yorker View Post
    he wasn't the only one watching. what is preconceived about what he said? did azhar just start to play odi cricket this year? what is the basis for calling him the mentally toughest batsman? the fact that he bats slower than anyone else, so often making it look much harder than it is? can we argue his merits as a player on the basis of single innings? he played one good knock in the final, for which he deserves immense credit, but it is simply a fact that he has been mediocre until then, and will likely continue to be mediocre. i don't mind giving him another series or two but i dont expect the final verdict to change. there are better options than him now, many.
    Agree with this. Azhar struggles to do so much necessary for ODI cricket. Yes he might be the best at staying at the crease in terms of longest per no. of balls, but he can't do that unless he curbs his run rate as he struggles to score boundaries and rotate strike. You need to at least really be able to do one in ODI cricket.

    We have accumulators, guys at good averages at decent SRs in Babar, Haris Sohail, Sarfraz even (though he's capable of playing at higher SRs when needed). What we're lacking are explosive batsmen middle/late order. Top order isn't our problem, we have so many options now, Sharjeel if he comes back, Fakhar, Babar, Haris, Sarfraz if we need him to, all better than Azhar. And Azhar can't play down the order for the life of him. just because he had a good CT in terms of average, we shouldn't forget in the same matches, the other players around him scored as well at higher averages.

  60. #60
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    Quote Originally Posted by New Yorker View Post
    he wasn't the only one watching. what is preconceived about what he said? did azhar just start to play odi cricket this year? what is the basis for calling him the mentally toughest batsman? the fact that he bats slower than anyone else, so often making it look much harder than it is? can we argue his merits as a player on the basis of single innings? he played one good knock in the final, for which he deserves immense credit, but it is simply a fact that he has been mediocre until then, and will likely continue to be mediocre. i don't mind giving him another series or two but i dont expect the final verdict to change. there are better options than him now, many.
    Yes all of them are preconceived ideas, the issue which people have now is that Azhar's performance in the final is not in line with their views which means they have a problem. The fact is that Azhar most recently did quiet well when it mattered most in a high profile tournament, it is beyond moronic to highlight failures which have nothing to do with how well he has done recently and those failures will not undermine his place in the team so people will need to accept that, if they can't then they don't deserve a mentally tough batsman who just won his country an ICC Trophy while the naturally gifted blokes failed spectacularly. Name me one Pakistani opener outside the winning CT team which has played a knock in the last 20 years similar to Azhar which resulted in an ICC Trophy and the morons think we should drop him on the basis of performances prior to the CT do people not realise how stupid they sound ? or are they yet to clean all that egg off their face because now you're limited to pointing out all the times Azhar did not do well because he had a good CT Tournament more recently
    Last edited by shaz619; 3rd July 2017 at 17:28.


    Ah, so this is what it feels like

  61. #61
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    for those who think he should be dropped from ODI team should think again because if he goes Shehzad comes back and GOD forbid, we don't want to witness that sight again

  62. #62
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    Quote Originally Posted by shaz619 View Post
    Yes all of them are preconceived ideas, the issue which people have now is that Azhar's performance in the final is not in line with their views which means they have a problem. The fact is that Azhar most recently did quiet well when it mattered most in a high profile tournament, it is beyond moronic to highlight failures which have nothing to do with how well he has done recently and those failures will not undermine his place in the team so people will need to accept that, if they can't then they don't deserve a mentally tough batsman who just won his country an ICC Trophy while the naturally gifted blokes failed spectacularly. Name me one Pakistani opener outside the winning CT team which has played a knock in the last 20 years similar to Azhar which resulted in an ICC Trophy and the morons think we should drop him on the basis of performances prior to the CT do people not realise how stupid they sound ? or are they yet to clean all that egg off their face because now you're limited to pointing out all the times Azhar did not do well because he had a good CT Tournament more recently
    What is the pre-conception 'pre' of exactly? We have his entire record before us. We can see years of turgid batting and one good knock in one match.

  63. #63
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    Azhar Ali is wajatullah Wasti Version II when it comes to batting in ODIs!

  64. #64
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    Azhar Ali. Has any Pakistan player divided opinions so much?

    In my humble opinion :

    - A high quality test player. VERY crucial for our test team.

    - He has been unfairly criticized for his ODI performances. He is certainly NOT captaincy material.

    - He has performed ADEQUATELY at odi level and he had an EXCELLENT champions trophy. Certainly ahead of the likes of Ahmed Shezad who should be nowhere near the Pakistan Team.

    - However - I would prefer he be saved for tests only. Let's get a natural ODI opener.

  65. #65
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    Quote Originally Posted by shaz619 View Post
    So you watched all of the games on live TV but remain one dimensional when it comes to your preconceived opinion on Azhar Ali.

    He performed better then everyone else in the group game defeat, could have been better vs SA/SL but then delivered emphatically in the final when it mattered most.

    Absolutely zero issues with Azhar's S/R in the final, in fact unless you were asleep you'd have picked up on Azhar taking pressure of Fakhtar who was very nervous and struggled to get out the blocks; in fact his S/R was very similar to Azhar's once he had completed his 50. Chemistry is everything and a guy who puts a heavy price on his wicket, delivers in crunch situations and on difficult wickets is gold so he will compliment Fakhtar quiet well; if Azhar can bat at 80+ S/R initially then that is completely fine by modern standards actually so enough with your can't rotate the strike crap, he is the mentally toughest batsman in the world right now; I think people just can't comprehend the fact that he delivered in the final, am shocked that there are still people levelling criticism towards him, when was the opening pair to share 100+ partnerships for Pak in ODI'? like 100000 BC right? there you go, BOOM.
    Couldn't agree more man i dont know how can these losers face themselves in the mirror who can not even admit's azhar brilliance. Slow or Not, Azhar is Class, period. Talking about his mental strength. it feels like not just nerves but that he has got balls of steels as well. If shezzy and umar akmal had even 25% of awareness and courage of azhar, they would have been worldclass. InshaAllah Azhar will get even better in ODIs

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    One good knock ? He was our most consistent batsman in the whole CT. he scored 228 runs in 5 games.
    That wasn't even my post but i will say that he thrived under the pressure in a big final against our arch rivals, Accumulator took the charge and guided fakhar to a match winning innings. The way he pat on Fakhar's back after his 50 was so pure, real and admirable and after seeing that i was certain that we're winning this match. You may find a better opening batsman who bats at better strike rate but can go missing in a massive game (like kohli did)
    But you will never find a golden hearted azhar ali who'd look worldclass that day and will prefer dying before giving his wicket away where we need to win at any cost.
    Your attitude determines your altitude.

  67. #67
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    Quote Originally Posted by heddie19 View Post
    One good knock ? He was our most consistent batsman in the whole CT. he scored 228 runs in 5 games.
    That wasn't even my post but i will say that he thrived under the pressure in a big final against our arch rivals, Accumulator took the charge and guided fakhar to a match winning innings. The way he pat on Fakhar's back after his 50 was so pure, real and admirable and after seeing that i was certain that we're winning this match. You may find a better opening batsman who bats at better strike rate but can go missing in a massive game (like kohli did)
    But you will never find a golden hearted azhar ali who'd look worldclass that day and will prefer dying before giving his wicket away where we need to win at any cost.
    Your attitude determines your altitude.
    The idea that Pakistan will never find a better opening ODI bat than Azhar Ali beggars belief. There is no necessary inverse relationship between SR and big game performance. Fakhar Zaman is proof of that. See also under Gilchrist, Ponting, Dhoni, etc etc. The point is not whether Azhar did a service to his country, but whether Pakistan should from now on declare that there will never be another opener but him. And the answer can only be, NO. One should always be lookin for EVEN better players. Azhar can get a run of a couple of more series on the back of his CT performance, but if he shows up the same inability to play a dynamic ODI game he will find it hard to stay on.
    Last edited by New Yorker; 8th July 2017 at 13:12.

  68. #68
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    I'm truly impressed with Azhar Ali now. Not a flamboyant player like Afridi and not a bang bang batsman but he is really a team man and mentally no one else in the team is stronger. He stood and delivered for the team in extreme pressure situation where other failed, like in Australia and New Zealand and then in WI. in CT, he played exceptionally well at the greatest stage, the final and raised his game and SR. Take a bow, Azhar.

    He is capable of adjusting his SR according to situation and a solid batsman for tests and ODI, probably not for T20 and would be a perfect partner for Fakhar in ODI.

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    The likes of Azhar Ali, Babar Azam, Mohammad Hafeez these blokes are always happy to play dot balls, strike @ rate of around 80 & quite content to reach a total of 260. That is why they were languishing @ number 8.

    Hope the CT win has changed their outlook for the better & Azhar Ali can become the Atapattu to Fakhar Zaman's Jayasuriya.

    The last thing pakistan need is another Tuk tuk.

  70. #70
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    Quote Originally Posted by jonny darko View Post
    The likes of Azhar Ali, Babar Azam, Mohammad Hafeez these blokes are always happy to play dot balls, strike @ rate of around 80 & quite content to reach a total of 260. That is why they were languishing @ number 8.

    Hope the CT win has changed their outlook for the better & Azhar Ali can become the Atapattu to Fakhar Zaman's Jayasuriya.

    The last thing pakistan need is another Tuk tuk.
    People are overrating the importance of strike rates in ODIs. Azhar Ali is playing his role perfectly and is crucial to our batting line up. All 3 players you mentioned were playing the final and we scored over 330...

  71. #71
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    Let's defer our judgement on whether he needs to be dropped once he fails in a few matches. For now he has earned his place and since Sharjeel isn't coming back and Shahzaib went down with him, Azhar seems like a viable option despite his limitations.


    In merit vs potential, potential usually causes the greatest heartbreak

  72. #72
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    Quote Originally Posted by daytrader View Post
    People are overrating the importance of strike rates in ODIs. Azhar Ali is playing his role perfectly and is crucial to our batting line up. All 3 players you mentioned were playing the final and we scored over 330...
    Azhar's played a rather un Azhar innings in the final, with a SR of 83. If he can keep it up fine, but I don't count on it, and don't see why one would play him over Sharjeel or Sahibzada in ODIs, when both seem to be very consistent.

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    Quote Originally Posted by New Yorker View Post
    Azhar's played a rather un Azhar innings in the final, with a SR of 83. If he can keep it up fine, but I don't count on it, and don't see why one would play him over Sharjeel or Sahibzada in ODIs, when both seem to be very consistent.
    Agree with this, so far his ODI career tells us that these types of innings aren't the norm.


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  74. #74
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    Quote Originally Posted by asfandyar View Post
    Let's defer our judgement on whether he needs to be dropped once he fails in a few matches. For now he has earned his place and since Sharjeel isn't coming back and Shahzaib went down with him, Azhar seems like a viable option despite his limitations.
    Sahibzada, even Aslam would be better. I'd even give someone like Sahadab a chance just to see how he goes.

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