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  1. #1
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    Is the end getting close for Azhar Ali's career?

    I am aware that this sounds ludicrous to a Pakistani audience.

    Azhar Ali has just had a superb year, in which he has hit centuries in England and Australia and cemented his position as Pakistan's best opener since Saeed Anwar.

    And of course Pakistan has a culture which seems to extend respect for elders into inappropriate domains like cricket, with the consequence that Younis Khan and Misbah-ul-Haq were carried around long into their forties, when their only consistency against good attacks outside Asia was their consistent failure.

    But let's be serious about Azhar Ali.

    I wrote in another thread that he is the same age as Alastair Cook and AB De Villiers, who are coming to the very end of their Test careers. The response from @Abdullah719 was "yes, but he hasn't got their earning capacity beyond international cricket."

    That is a very good point, but I'm not sure that it is the right point.

    We know from decades of experience what happens to class batsmen after the age of 32, and it is exactly what happened to Younis Khan, but also to Gordon Greenidge and Allan Border before him.

    They lose the ability to consistently score runs, especially away from home. Their undoubted class means that once in a while they will make a huge innings - Gordon Greenidge scored 223 in his penultimate Test.

    Those occasional huge innings make their average look more intact than it really is. But they fail in at least 3/4 of their innings away from home, and the impact upon their team is that it loses again and again and again.

    Allan Border scored 21 centuries in his 89 Tests before the age of 32.
    He scored 6 centuries in 67 Tests after the age of 32.

    We are already seeing a significant decline in the output of Alastair Cook. He does not give his team the regular sound starts, but like Younis Khan he makes a massive innings once in a while.

    In some ways, believe it or not, the early signs are already there with Azhar Ali.

    These are his Test returns from the last year:

    v England away averaged 42.14.
    But take away his innings of 139, and he averaged 26 in his other 7 innings.

    v West Indies at home averaged 94.80
    But take away his innings of 302 not out, and he averaged 34.40 in his other 5 innings.

    v New Zealand away averaged 26.25

    v Australia away averaged 81.20
    But take away his innings of 205 not out on a dead wicket at the MCG, and he averaged 40.20 in his other 5 innings.

    v West Indies away averaged 43.50
    But take away his innings of 127, and in his other 5 innings he averaged just 26.80

    In other words, Azhar Ali may be Pakistan's top Test batsman currently, but he is already exhibiting the early signs of age-related inconsistency.

    The warning signs are already there.

    Interestingly, the reason that I no longer support the return of Salman Butt is because he is exactly the same age as Azhar Ali, and I believe a Test team can only carry one such player with age-related inconsistency. The careers of the two men betray that Butt was always the better batsman - that's why he was established in the Test team and elevated to the captaincy, while Azhar was still not an established member of the team. There simply isn't room for both, and Azhar is the one who deserves the place.

    I fully support Azhar Ali remaining in the Test team for now. But Mickey Arthur has always opposed having more than 1 player over the age of 32 in his international teams for the reasons that I have just outlined, and it remains to be seen whether Azhar Ali will be allowed to drag the team down outside Asia the way that Younis and Misbah did every time they came up against decent bowling.

  2. #2
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    It's a common misconception to think that bowlers have a limited shelf life due to age whereas batsmen can go on forever.

    And in limited overs cricket, with its grassless pitches and balls with tiny seams, it's true.

    But it's not true in Tests. The hand-eye coordination falters after the age of 32 whoever you are.

    Consider how Australia turned it around in Tests last year after losing 5 Tests out of 6 to Sri Lanka and South Africa.

    They skipped a generation and went to a team with only 1 player over the age of 30 - and he was 30.

    But they didn't change the bowling attack - it was still Starc, Hazlewood, Lyon and a third seamer.

    They exchanged their batsman for younger models. Suddenly in came Renshaw and Handscomb.

  3. #3
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    Age is just a number and it affects people differently. Most batsmen peak around this age in my opinion. This is Azhar's golden period to cash in.

  4. #4
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    Nope, he'll be around for another four to six years whether you like it or not.


    Dukh taan sunadi saray tod dene aa.

  5. #5
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    Not all batsmen go done the same trend. Look at Misbah and Younis Khan.

    Younis Khan scored 17 centuries in his last 7 years of his career. Averaged ~54, his official age right now is almost 40, but it is on record him saying that he's older. He basically scored almost half his runs in the later parts of his career.

    I'm for one hoping that Azhar Ali stays fit and scores just like Younis Khan did, gets that magical 10K mark.

  6. #6
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    Age is definitely a factor, but Azhar is like few players who are late bloomer - improved with age. For example, Graham Gooch was probably the best player between the age of 35 to 38. If Azhar focuses on his core game & stick to Test cricket only, he should be able to maintain such high standard for at least 5 more years.

    Regarding his recent form, I actually find @Junaids logic a bit strange. If I take out 12 double hundreds of Bradman, his average comes down to 60s in 68 innings; if I take out his 29 hundreds, it comes down in 30s for 51 innings, and if I take out every innings over 49, for half of his career (38 innings), his average comes down to <20. This is Bradman, whose career average was 99.94 - if I do the same for players averaging between 40-60, respective figures will come down to 30s, 20s & in single digit; therefore I don't think it's the right way to look at players for their failures, i. e. excluding big innings. I for one, would like my top batsman to score 450 in a 5 Test series with 2 knocks of 161 & 170 - be it on a belter, rather than 10 innings between 40 to 50; because these are nothing innings.

    For Test matches, I'll back Azhar to deliver till 40, rather than expecting better show than someone younger, like say Umar Akmal.

  7. #7
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    No, he hasn't shown any signs of reflexes declining yet.


    A skilled hawk conceals its talons.

  8. #8
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    The fact that he still averages around 40 after taking out his hundreds shows you that he is a quality player.


    "Educating the mind without educating the heart is no education at all." --Aristotle

  9. #9
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    So, it has already started. After Younis and Misbah, Azhar is the easiest target.

  10. #10
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    He has just peaked. I think that form will last atleast another year before he shows decline


    You are not a drop in the ocean - You are the entire ocean in a drop
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  11. #11
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    Still a top player in Tests.

  12. #12
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    His right hand has more talent and performance than Salman Butt was every capable of


    #MPGA

  13. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by MMHS View Post
    Age is definitely a factor, but Azhar is like few players who are late bloomer - improved with age. For example, Graham Gooch was probably the best player between the age of 35 to 38. If Azhar focuses on his core game & stick to Test cricket only, he should be able to maintain such high standard for at least 5 more years.

    Regarding his recent form, I actually find @Junaids logic a bit strange. If I take out 12 double hundreds of Bradman, his average comes down to 60s in 68 innings; if I take out his 29 hundreds, it comes down in 30s for 51 innings, and if I take out every innings over 49, for half of his career (38 innings), his average comes down to <20. This is Bradman, whose career average was 99.94 - if I do the same for players averaging between 40-60, respective figures will come down to 30s, 20s & in single digit; therefore I don't think it's the right way to look at players for their failures, i. e. excluding big innings. I for one, would like my top batsman to score 450 in a 5 Test series with 2 knocks of 161 & 170 - be it on a belter, rather than 10 innings between 40 to 50; because these are nothing innings.

    For Test matches, I'll back Azhar to deliver till 40, rather than expecting better show than someone younger, like say Umar Akmal.
    You are missing the point.

    The problem with Azhar Ali is the same as the problem with late-vintage Younis Khan.

    He is basically going big once per series, but leaving the team in trouble five or six times as often as he helps it.

    I want a batsman in the Top 3 to perform something like this in a 3 Test series:

    65 and 45
    120 and 5
    30 and 50

    That batsman has only let the team down once in 6 innings, and hopefully the others will compensate on that one occasion.

    The problem with late-vintage Younis Khan, and Azhar Ali is already going the same way, is that he performs as follows:

    10 and 5
    0 and 35
    210 and 25

    Both performances result in 285 runs at an average of 47.50.

    But the Elderly Batsman Going Big Once model means that you lose at least 2/3 of your away Tests.

  14. #14
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    @Suleiman

    Read my answer above.

    Batsman A and Batsman B both score 285 runs in 6 innings in a 3 Test series:

    Batsman A
    65 and 45
    120 and 5
    30 and 50

    Batsman B
    10 and 5
    0 and 35
    210 and 25

    Batsman A participates in a 60 partnership in 5 innings out of 6.
    Batsman B participates in a 60 partnership in 2 innings out of 6.

    Batsman A's team can do well, and possibly win the series.
    Batsman B's team cannot win away series.

  15. #15
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    Quote Originally Posted by Junaids View Post
    @Suleiman

    Read my answer above.

    Batsman A and Batsman B both score 285 runs in 6 innings in a 3 Test series:

    Batsman A
    65 and 45
    120 and 5
    30 and 50

    Batsman B
    10 and 5
    0 and 35
    210 and 25

    Batsman A participates in a 60 partnership in 5 innings out of 6.
    Batsman B participates in a 60 partnership in 2 innings out of 6.

    Batsman A's team can do well, and possibly win the series.
    Batsman B's team cannot win away series.
    Can you name any batsman who fits your criteria of batsman A? Rotund Umar "I gain weight when I drink water" Akmal isn't one. Neither is Babar. Azhar is hundred times superior than both in Tests.


    Dukh taan sunadi saray tod dene aa.

  16. #16
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    Quote Originally Posted by Junaids View Post
    You are missing the point.

    The problem with Azhar Ali is the same as the problem with late-vintage Younis Khan.

    He is basically going big once per series, but leaving the team in trouble five or six times as often as he helps it.

    I want a batsman in the Top 3 to perform something like this in a 3 Test series:

    65 and 45
    120 and 5
    30 and 50

    That batsman has only let the team down once in 6 innings, and hopefully the others will compensate on that one occasion.

    The problem with late-vintage Younis Khan, and Azhar Ali is already going the same way, is that he performs as follows:

    10 and 5
    0 and 35
    210 and 25

    Both performances result in 285 runs at an average of 47.50.

    But the Elderly Batsman Going Big Once model means that you lose at least 2/3 of your away Tests.
    No, I am not missing the point - I am well aware of the age factor. The example of YK you have given doesn't make sense, because YK's apparent decline, if I take managing average close to 50 is decline, started in 2015, when he was officially close to 40. If you notice, I also mentioned that as a specialist Test batsman Azhar should manage it till close to 40, that's 7/8 years, not 2 - he has just turned 32.

    Azhar is going for one big innngs/series is factually incorrect - don't have the time to post all those, but since Birmingham, he had one triple, one double & 3 hundreds & 5 fifties (& a 49) in 13 Tests. In WI, he had 2 innings of 100+ and 4 in single digits - which indicates once he is in, he is difficult to dislodge. PAK player struggling outside Asia is not only a factor of age - if English players tour AUS once in a decade or Aussies in ENG for such; they won't do better. You may curse PCB for that, but not players, neither age - they are doing fine once settled in the tour. Imagine English players touring Asia once in every 5 years to face the spinners!!!! Facing fast bowlers in AUS isn't the easiest job - after 2/3 months preparation last Ashes in AUS didn't go that smooth for Pom batsmen, well under 30. In that regard, what Azhar did in AUS from his first tour there in 7 years was remarkable.

    Cherry picking stats for backing a biased logic won't go unnoticed - you are the same guy couple of days back posted Umar Akmal's 4 FC innings of any decency, probably in over last half a decade to prove his "still remaining potential" - now this. Azhar should retire from ODI team, but he is the best Test opener now in world & should remain there for at least 3/4 years. If PAK can find a better replacement, he'll leave by 36-38, but if they don't find one, it's not his fault.

    YK & Misbah prolonged their career, which didn't help PAK team in terms of phasing out a generation - BUT, they made the XI on merit, for every single innings, till last one & easily could have played for a year; YK may be more - on proper cricket merit. They were doing much better than young & U30 Gary Ballance in that regard. When Azhar should retire will be determined by PAK's future batting resources, not for his age only - he is not Mohammad Hafeez or Shoaib Malik.

  17. #17
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    Quote Originally Posted by MMHS View Post
    No, I am not missing the point - I am well aware of the age factor. The example of YK you have given doesn't make sense, because YK's apparent decline, if I take managing average close to 50 is decline, started in 2015, when he was officially close to 40. If you notice, I also mentioned that as a specialist Test batsman Azhar should manage it till close to 40, that's 7/8 years, not 2 - he has just turned 32.

    Azhar is going for one big innngs/series is factually incorrect - don't have the time to post all those, but since Birmingham, he had one triple, one double & 3 hundreds & 5 fifties (& a 49) in 13 Tests. In WI, he had 2 innings of 100+ and 4 in single digits - which indicates once he is in, he is difficult to dislodge. PAK player struggling outside Asia is not only a factor of age - if English players tour AUS once in a decade or Aussies in ENG for such; they won't do better. You may curse PCB for that, but not players, neither age - they are doing fine once settled in the tour. Imagine English players touring Asia once in every 5 years to face the spinners!!!! Facing fast bowlers in AUS isn't the easiest job - after 2/3 months preparation last Ashes in AUS didn't go that smooth for Pom batsmen, well under 30. In that regard, what Azhar did in AUS from his first tour there in 7 years was remarkable.

    Cherry picking stats for backing a biased logic won't go unnoticed - you are the same guy couple of days back posted Umar Akmal's 4 FC innings of any decency, probably in over last half a decade to prove his "still remaining potential" - now this. Azhar should retire from ODI team, but he is the best Test opener now in world & should remain there for at least 3/4 years. If PAK can find a better replacement, he'll leave by 36-38, but if they don't find one, it's not his fault.

    YK & Misbah prolonged their career, which didn't help PAK team in terms of phasing out a generation - BUT, they made the XI on merit, for every single innings, till last one & easily could have played for a year; YK may be more - on proper cricket merit. They were doing much better than young & U30 Gary Ballance in that regard. When Azhar should retire will be determined by PAK's future batting resources, not for his age only - he is not Mohammad Hafeez or Shoaib Malik.
    Well said MMHS.

    Top Post.Azhar is the best test batsman in Pakistan and iA will continue to be a top performer for the next 3-4 years.

  18. #18
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    Quote Originally Posted by Slog View Post
    His right hand has more talent and performance than Salman Butt was every capable of
    In his left hand as well

    Salman was a left hander.

  19. #19
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    Azhar hit two hundreds in his last test series.

    He isn't declining.

    He is now the (officially) oldest batsman in the team so it's no surprise that @Junaids is speculating his decline in form.

  20. #20
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    He will decline at some point, but it's not going to be now.

    Azhar will likely play until 35. he's not the captain, although he's a good opener. That said, they will need to start developing his replacements. Fakhar Zaman and Sharjeel Khan (assuming return) are not set as the answers by any measure.

  21. #21
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    Azhar is the best test opener in the world and Yasir is the best bowler in Pakistani team. OP wants to drop both of them from the team. LOL

  22. #22
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    So now we're gonna select/drop players solely based on their birth certificates?

    @MMHS has been spot on.


    Hai yeh Josh-e-Junoon, hai yeh apna yaqeen, ke jo tum mein hai dum, woh kisi mein nahin!

  23. #23
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    No he is a must in test team atleast for next few years also him and captain are best buddies so dont see him going anywhere.

    Though I would like to say tata bbye to Asad Shafiq but again he is captain's best buddy + a darling of coach so dont see him going anywhere too for next few series atleast.


    Sarfi as captain'll lead us to glory.Babar'll be our best odi bat & Haris'll be world class in tests

  24. #24
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    Quote Originally Posted by SarfiBabarHaris View Post
    No he is a must in test team atleast for next few years also him and captain are best buddies so dont see him going anywhere.

    Though I would like to say tata bbye to Asad Shafiq but again he is captain's best buddy + a darling of coach so dont see him going anywhere too for next few series atleast.
    Agree on both Azhar and Shafiq.
    Last edited by Abdullah719; 25th July 2017 at 02:45.

  25. #25
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    These should honestly be his peak years and now that he is the most experienced and senior batsman in the team, the pressure will be on him to step it up a touch

  26. #26
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    Wow this is a ridiculous thread.

    The end is nowhere near for Azhar.He is our best batsman and has performed in overseas conditions.Cherry picking his stats(like removing his big scores) isn't doing you any favours in you argument,and neither is your love for Umar Akmal.

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    Lol MMHS has destroyed Junaids in this thread. Azhar isn't going anywhere . He's the best test opener in the world on current form. I think he will play till 36/37 and will score 8k plus test match runs.

  28. #28
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    Poor thread and these stats r good

  29. #29
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    If you take out his 205*, he still averages an outrageously bad 40 in that Aus series

  30. #30
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    Quote Originally Posted by Slog View Post
    His right hand has more talent and performance than Salman Butt was every capable of



    ^^^This...I read the thread (despite strongly disagreeing) till Butt-aah with a mediocre of the mediocre average of 30.00 was brought in to the fold, wow, just wow.

    Only Junaids can put down a player who averages almost 47.00 and try to make Butt-aah look better. Let's play the same game as he did for Azhar:

    If you take out Butt-aahs century in 2004-05 tour:
    his average goes from 45 for the tour to a measly 29.25 (right around his aukaat aka career average)

    2009-10 Tour to Australia:
    46.67 total average, take out the only 50+ score, it comes back to his league i.e. 35.6

    No need to do it against other teams since he has worse records against all others!

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    I think he can get to 30 Test Hundreds if he plays well. Needs to look to score at least 2 hundreds in each series.

  32. #32
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    Pakistan is often described as a "mercurial" team, which produces occasional brilliant performances interspersed with lots of rubbish ones.

    And I blame the batsmen, not the bowlers.

    The Late Career Version Younis Khan is what is wrong, not what is right.

    It's not okay for batsmen in the Top Five to play a 3 match series and combine 1 x 200 with 5 x innings under 30.

    Test batting is all about partnerships, and a Top Five batsman needs to score at least 30 in 80% of innings.

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    ^^^Then show us that earth shattering batsman with such world class ability who has delivered with such consitency in the last 10-12 years besides mediocre Azhar, YK, and Misbah?

    There is a reason why these three averaged better, much better than most batsmen that we tried since Inzi's retirement!

  34. #34
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    Azhar has done pretty well and you can't take out every single big score to calculate average. If you take it out, then it is no longer the average of a series.

    Also, as long as Azhar does better than others in Pakistani team, talking about age is not meaningful. He is clearly doing better than others.


    "If this happens I will swim across the Charles River! In winter!" -- OZGOD on NZ batting 6 sessions

  35. #35
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    what?? Azhars going through his best batting phase of his career over the last yr or so where hes been pakistans best batsman

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    He's shown no signs of declining with regards to his form, he's in the form of his life with a triple century against WI and a double century against Aus away. A bit foolish to say he's going to decline but the main thing is that he's definitely not an ODI batsman, he played very well in the CT 2017 but he had to play out of his skin and he can't keep doing that every game.

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    Ridiculous suggestion. He is at the peak of his batting at the moment. We should groom replacements but give him the optimum respect now which he has earned. Remember we are still trying to find a second opener who can partner him in tests and him leaving would take us back to square one

  38. #38
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    I agree. No point investing in him anymore. Bring a youngster in!

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    What a bizarre thread.

    Guy goes and scores a double hundred in Australia. Wins the respect of Aussie commentators and players. Even won respect by English commentators and players. And WI, and so on.

    Even if people complain that it wasn't the most testing of conditions, did anyone Aussie score a double hundred in the series?

    Yes, Renshaw and Warner were short by 15-30 runs once but even YK scored a 175 not out.

    And the Aussies were playing at home, where the likes of Warner bullies attacks, but can't seem to buy runs in most other countries.

    I often find that Pakistani fans just can't handle a player having a few bad scores or a series or two. Or the team losing.

    And we need to prepare for a tough time ahead, where there won't be much Test Cricket with no one in sight who promises to do well in Tests [outside UAE].

    [no one in sight who can impress at 4 & 5, or even a quality all rounder at 7]
    Last edited by Abdullah719; 29th July 2017 at 02:51.

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    Azhar is a late bloomer, he will only get better

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    Quote Originally Posted by Proactive_ View Post
    I agree. No point investing in him anymore. Bring a youngster in!
    Sarcasm?

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    Quote Originally Posted by Lefthanded View Post
    What a bizarre thread.

    Guy goes and scores a double hundred in Australia. Wins the respect of Aussie commentators and players. Even won respect by English commentators and players. And WI, and so on.

    Even if people complain that it wasn't the most testing of conditions, did anyone Aussie score a double hundred in the series?

    Yes, Renshaw and Warner were short by 15-30 runs once but even YK scored a 175 not out.

    And the Aussies were playing at home, where the likes of Warner bullies attacks, but can't seem to buy runs in most other countries.

    I often find that Pakistani fans just can't handle a player having a few bad scores or a series or two. Or the team losing.

    And we need to prepare for a tough time ahead, where there won't be much Test Cricket with no one in sight who promises to do well in Tests [outside UAE].

    [no one in sight who can impress at 4 & 5, or even a quality all rounder at 7]
    I think my point is reasonable.

    He might be a late bloomer, but he is also coming very close to the age at which almost all batsmen lose their consistency. And his peers of the same age - Cook, De Villiers - are about to retire.

    So think of it as an Indian summer. It's Azhar's last hurrah before advancing age takes its toll.

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    Don't agree with this logic at all. He is now our best test batsmen especially since misyou retired earlier this year. Also why take his tons away when calculating his average on tours?

    Junaids man you should really stop trolling us and find a hobby or pick up a good tv show to binge-watch

  44. #44
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    Quote Originally Posted by TQ89 View Post
    Don't agree with this logic at all. He is now our best test batsmen especially since misyou retired earlier this year. Also why take his tons away when calculating his average on tours?
    Because you lost 7 away Tests out of 9 in five and a half months last year.

    And you kept losing because your geriatric batsmen, while keeping their averages up, failed to put together enough partnerships often enough - they just did what Younis did, going huge once every seven or eight innings.

    Top order batsmen are a waste of space if they cannot reach 35 in 70% of their innings.

    Forget hundreds, forget fifties. If you score 35 you have moved the scoreboard on at least 60 runs since you came out to bat.

    Misbah and Younis couldn't do that outside Asia against decent bowling for the last 5 years of their careers. In 80% of their innings they were back in the shed with the score no more than 40 runs ahead of where it was when they came in. Too often 60-2 became 80-3 and 95-4.

    The reason why I emphasise scoring at least 35 is to ensure that 60-2 at worst becomes 120-3, not 80-3.

    Or to ensure that the next wicket falls at 180-4, not 95-4.

    And the problem with Azhar Ali is that already - and he's only 32 - he is going the same way.

    That's why I make a point of showing just how often he is already failing and leaving the team in trouble in between his big innings.

    If a top order batsmen can't guarantee you 35 runs in at least 70% of his innings, find someone who can.
    Last edited by Junaids; 29th July 2017 at 17:33.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Junaids View Post
    Because you lost 7 away Tests out of 9 in five and a half months last year.

    And you kept losing because your geriatric batsmen, while keeping their averages up, failed to put together enough partnerships often enough - they just did what Younis did, going huge once every seven or eight innings.

    Top order batsmen are a waste of space if they cannot reach 35 in 70% of their innings.

    Forget hundreds, forget fifties. If you score 35 you have moved the scoreboard on at least 60 runs since you came out to bat.

    Misbah and Younis couldn't do that outside Asia against decent bowling for the last 5 years of their careers. In 80% of their innings they were back in the shed with the score no more than 40 runs ahead of where it was when they came in. Too often 60-2 became 80-3 and 95-4.

    The reason why I emphasise scoring at least 35 is to ensure that 60-2 at worst becomes 120-3, not 80-3.

    Or to ensure that the next wicket falls at 180-4, not 95-4.

    And the problem with Azhar Ali is that already - and he's only 32 - he is going the same way.

    That's why I make a point of showing just how often he is already failing and leaving the team in trouble in between his big innings.

    If a top order batsmen can't guarantee you 35 runs in at least 70% of his innings, find someone who can.
    Who would you recommend to replace Azhar?

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    Quote Originally Posted by Lefthanded View Post
    What a bizarre thread.

    Guy goes and scores a double hundred in Australia. Wins the respect of Aussie commentators and players. Even won respect by English commentators and players. And WI, and so on.

    Even if people complain that it wasn't the most testing of conditions, did anyone Aussie score a double hundred in the series?

    Yes, Renshaw and Warner were short by 15-30 runs once but even YK scored a 175 not out.

    And the Aussies were playing at home, where the likes of Warner bullies attacks, but can't seem to buy runs in most other countries.

    I often find that Pakistani fans just can't handle a player having a few bad scores or a series or two. Or the team losing.

    And we need to prepare for a tough time ahead, where there won't be much Test Cricket with no one in sight who promises to do well in Tests [outside UAE].

    [no one in sight who can impress at 4 & 5, or even a quality all rounder at 7]
    OP isn't a Pakistan fan, most of the comments in this thread defending Azhar are Pakistan fans.

  47. #47
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    Quote Originally Posted by Hasan123 View Post
    OP isn't a Pakistan fan, most of the comments in this thread defending Azhar are Pakistan fans.
    @Junaids is a huge Pakistan fan, he's many things but can't hold that against him he's even more passionate then some Pakistani's about team green; his views are slightly unorthodox for example like his height and age theories


    Ah, so this is what it feels like

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    Quote Originally Posted by shaz619 View Post
    @Junaids is a huge Pakistan fan, he's many things but can't hold that against him he's even more passionate then some Pakistani's about team green; his views are slightly unorthodox for example like his height and age theories

    His 1st team is England but I know he's a passionate supporter of Pakistan cricket and wants them to do well.

    Lol some of his theories are very unorthodox, he certainly makes the discussion and this forum more interesting.

    I'm assuming like myself you don't agree on this theory of Junaids about Azhar?

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    Now i see more good signs coming close to Azhar's career because of this thread... Junaids speculation have turned out good for the team and the players eventually.. A year ago Junaids made a thread on Hasan ali's height and he will be another bilawal bhatti but he ended up Player of the tournament CT17 a month ago...Now i foresee Azhar will be the first pak batsman to make a double hundred in SA next year...

  50. #50
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    Quote Originally Posted by Hasan123 View Post
    His 1st team is England but I know he's a passionate supporter of Pakistan cricket and wants them to do well.

    Lol some of his theories are very unorthodox, he certainly makes the discussion and this forum more interesting.

    I'm assuming like myself you don't agree on this theory of Junaids about Azhar?
    No lmao but I love Junaids justifications , to be fair to him; I've read similar books as Junaids which have inspired his thinking so can see where he is coming from and we have to respect his insight given how long he has been watching cricket for he really loves the game. Problem is thing's don't work that way generally and the least of all in Pakistan where seniority and experience is highly valued; Junaids would ideally like a situation where there are only 1 or 2 players in their 30s in the team and when they reache a certain age irrespective of how they are performing he'd like to get rid of them and inject a fresher youngster beauty.

    I do agree that we need a youth dominant team but so long the older players are performing well they should remain in the team. And he is right about Mickey Arther's opinion on age he mentions it in his book, while Junaid takes it to the extreme level the positive is that Mickey is big on developing players for the long haul.
    Last edited by shaz619; 30th July 2017 at 04:57.


    Ah, so this is what it feels like

  51. #51
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    Quote Originally Posted by Hasan123 View Post
    Who would you recommend to replace Azhar?
    This is what I would do if I was Mickey Arthur.

    I would say the following to Azhar Ali:


    "Congratulations on a wonderful year. I've been proud to have you in the team I coach.

    It's time for us to look forward and try to plan the next stage of your career.

    As you know, you are the same age as Alastair Cook and AB De Villiers. It probably seems strange to you that their careers are coming to an end while you are in such awesome form. But I'd like to talk a little about that.

    Misbah and Younis were great servants to Pakistan cricket and they saved us from disgrace. They were the best trainers we had, the fittest players we had. Younis was probably the greatest ever Pakistan batsman. They were brilliant role models to young players like you.

    But I'm not sure whether you noticed what happened to them as batsmen when they become older than anyone else in world cricket. They still scored some big innings, especially in Asia, but if you think back to South Africa, to England, to Australia, I think something else happened.

    Younis kept his average up, but he failed in 5 innings out of 6 in South Africa, in 6 innings out of 7 in England and in 8 innings out of 10 in Australia and New Zealand.

    Think back. It's true, isn't it? You were there, Azhar!

    And the consistency of those Younis Khan failures meant that we lost 8 of those 10 Test matches.

    This happens to every batsman outside Asia. You reach a certain age and you fail much more often than you succeed, even if your occasional big innings keep your average up.

    I'm telling you this Azhar because that is why Alastair Cook and AB De Villiers are at the end of the road. Soon you will be the oldest batsman left in Test cricket.

    I know that you are the best batsman in the team. But I also know that sooner or later - I hope much later - this will happen to you.

    Like Cook, that's why I'm relieved that you are not the new captain. I know you could do it, but I want you to focus on keeping your batting world class for as long as possible, without the worries of captaincy.

    Take every Test series one at a time. As long as you are performing, you will be the first batsman named in the team.

    Where I'm different to the people who went before me is that I don't think we can afford for two veteran batsmen to lose form at the same time. I want you as the only older batsman in the team. That's why there is no road back for Salman Butt, even though he is your age. You stayed clean and he didn't, so you are the one who stays as the senior batsman. It's also why there will be no Fawad Alam.

    In Australia, many generations of cricketer have been influenced by Ian Chappell, who is a great believer in going out at the top. Don't wait until your performances are declining. When you are not the batsman you used to be, go. Don't wait to be dropped.

    That would be great advice for you and every other Pakistan cricketer.

    Make the most of your ability and your career. At this late stage, when you are 32, don't bother with the captaincy, just enjoy the time left to you as a batsman.

    But once you think you can't guarantee yourself at least 35 runs in 3/4 of your innings outside Asia, that's when it will be time to call it a day."
    Last edited by Junaids; 30th July 2017 at 10:28.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Junaids View Post
    This is what I would do if I was Mickey Arthur.

    I would say the following to Azhar Ali:


    "Congratulations on a wonderful year. I've been proud to have you in the team I coach.

    It's time for us to look forward and try to plan the next stage of your career.

    As you know, you are the same age as Alastair Cook and AB De Villiers. It probably seems strange to you that their careers are coming to an end while you are in such awesome form. But I'd like to talk a little about that.

    Misbah and Younis were great servants to Pakistan cricket and they saved us from disgrace. They were the best trainers we had, the fittest players we had. Younis was probably the greatest ever Pakistan batsman. They were brilliant role models to young players like you.

    But I'm not sure whether you noticed what happened to them as batsmen when they become older than anyone else in world cricket. They still scored some big innings, especially in Asia, but if you think back to South Africa, to England, to Australia, I think something else happened.

    Younis kept his average up, but he failed in 5 innings out of 6 in South Africa, in 6 innings out of 7 in England and in 8 innings out of 10 in Australia and New Zealand.

    Think back. It's true, isn't it? You were there, Azhar!

    And the consistency of those Younis Khan failures meant that we lost 8 of those 10 Test matches.

    This happens to every batsman outside Asia. You reach a certain age and you fail much more often than you succeed, even if your occasional big innings keep your average up.

    I'm telling you this Azhar because that is why Alastair Cook and AB De Villiers are at the end of the road. Soon you will be the oldest batsman left in Test cricket.

    I know that you are the best batsman in the team. But I also know that sooner or later - I hope much later - this will happen to you.

    Like Cook, that's why I'm relieved that you are not the new captain. I know you could do it, but I want you to focus on keeping your batting world class for as long as possible, without the worries of captaincy.

    Take every Test series one at a time. As long as you are performing, you will be the first batsman named in the team.

    Where I'm different to the people who went before me is that I don't think we can afford for two veteran batsmen to lose form at the same time. I want you as the only older batsman in the team. That's why there is no road back for Salman Butt, even though he is your age. You stayed clean and he didn't, so you are the one who stays as the senior batsman. It's also why there will be no Fawad Alam.

    In Australia, many generations of cricketer have been influenced by Ian Chappell, who is a great believer in going out at the top. Don't wait until your performances are declining. When you are not the batsman you used to be, go. Don't wait to be dropped.

    That would be great advice for you and every other Pakistan cricketer.

    Make the most of your ability and your career. At this late stage, when you are 32, don't bother with the captaincy, just enjoy the time left to you as a batsman.

    But once you think you can't guarantee yourself at least 35 runs in 3/4 of your innings outside Asia, that's when it will be time to call it a day."
    Brilliant - POTW!
    @Abdullah719

  53. #53
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    Quote Originally Posted by Junaids View Post
    I think my point is reasonable.

    He might be a late bloomer, but he is also coming very close to the age at which almost all batsmen lose their consistency. And his peers of the same age - Cook, De Villiers - are about to retire.

    So think of it as an Indian summer. It's Azhar's last hurrah before advancing age takes its toll.
    Cook is far from "about to retire". The mere fact that he stepped down from captaincy right before the Ashes is proof to the fact that he wishes to carry on and has made many such statements about wanting to carry on for a few more years. As for AB, you yourself were the first one to point out that he wishes to continue but is forced to sit out from the Test squad because of the quota system. The fact that he STILL hasn't announced retirement despite it being solely HIS choice is enough testimony to him wanting to play for a few more years. At least stay true to your own words.

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    To be very honest here, I don't disagree with @Junaids here - I don't want Azhar Ali to retire but we need batsmen who contribute more often and he's right about that. However, Azhar Ali does just that. He comes good mostly and to expect him to score big, or even put up a substantial score every single time is insane because then he'd be averaging in the 60's. To have performed the way he did in some of the toughest away tours is mercurial.

    That being said - we do need batsmen who can perform more consistently even if they don't score mammoth hundreds. And the best way to achieve that goal would be to chuck out Asad Shafiq, Shan Masood, Ahmed Shehzad and bring in Sami Aslam and Fawad Alam. We need to give Imam Ul Haq and Usman Salahuddin a consistent run too and then, even IF Azhar Ali becomes the batsmen @Junaids is suggesting he's becoming - we can afford it.

  55. #55
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    Quote Originally Posted by ExpressPacer View Post
    Cook is far from "about to retire". The mere fact that he stepped down from captaincy right before the Ashes is proof to the fact that he wishes to carry on and has made many such statements about wanting to carry on for a few more years. As for AB, you yourself were the first one to point out that he wishes to continue but is forced to sit out from the Test squad because of the quota system. The fact that he STILL hasn't announced retirement despite it being solely HIS choice is enough testimony to him wanting to play for a few more years. At least stay true to your own words.
    Look, that's a fair set of points. I don't really disagree with you.

    I think Alastair Cook has set himself a target to play on until the end of the 2019 Ashes, when he will be 34.7 years old. And I think it's reasonable for Azhar Ali to set himself the same target, since he is only two months younger.

    But my point is that that is really, really close. It's 2 years and 1 month away.

    A lot of people on this forum have seen Younis and Misbah go on five years longer than their peers from every other country and ignored the 11 defeats in 15 away matches in their final year. They want to recreate a new Dad's Army of Azhar Ali and Fawad Alam.

    As for AB De Villiers, the absolute latest that he will play any sort of international cricket will be the 2019 World Cup.

    So for the two guys closest in age to Azhar Ali, this really is the final 2 years.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Junaids View Post
    Look, that's a fair set of points. I don't really disagree with you.

    I think Alastair Cook has set himself a target to play on until the end of the 2019 Ashes, when he will be 34.7 years old. And I think it's reasonable for Azhar Ali to set himself the same target, since he is only two months younger.

    But my point is that that is really, really close. It's 2 years and 1 month away.

    A lot of people on this forum have seen Younis and Misbah go on five years longer than their peers from every other country and ignored the 11 defeats in 15 away matches in their final year. They want to recreate a new Dad's Army of Azhar Ali and Fawad Alam.

    As for AB De Villiers, the absolute latest that he will play any sort of international cricket will be the 2019 World Cup.

    So for the two guys closest in age to Azhar Ali, this really is the final 2 years.
    Sure, I don't want to see him playing beyond 35 either or 36 at most and I don't think he will. He announced retirement from captaincy a touch too late so I don't see him making the same mistake with his career. At least I hope he doesn't. However, he's in the form of his life right now and he isn't going anywhere currently.

    As far as Alam is concerned, you're right about him not being at the right age to be making a comeback but options are far and few and he deserves a chance. Australia bring back Marsh every now and then, India just experimented with Gambhir and England are persisting with Ballance who isn't the youngest either. Giving Alam a go isn't a bad idea.

  57. #57
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    Quote Originally Posted by Junaids View Post
    This is what I would do if I was Mickey Arthur.

    I would say the following to Azhar Ali:


    "Congratulations on a wonderful year. I've been proud to have you in the team I coach.

    It's time for us to look forward and try to plan the next stage of your career.

    As you know, you are the same age as Alastair Cook and AB De Villiers. It probably seems strange to you that their careers are coming to an end while you are in such awesome form. But I'd like to talk a little about that.

    Misbah and Younis were great servants to Pakistan cricket and they saved us from disgrace. They were the best trainers we had, the fittest players we had. Younis was probably the greatest ever Pakistan batsman. They were brilliant role models to young players like you.

    But I'm not sure whether you noticed what happened to them as batsmen when they become older than anyone else in world cricket. They still scored some big innings, especially in Asia, but if you think back to South Africa, to England, to Australia, I think something else happened.

    Younis kept his average up, but he failed in 5 innings out of 6 in South Africa, in 6 innings out of 7 in England and in 8 innings out of 10 in Australia and New Zealand.

    Think back. It's true, isn't it? You were there, Azhar!

    And the consistency of those Younis Khan failures meant that we lost 8 of those 10 Test matches.

    This happens to every batsman outside Asia. You reach a certain age and you fail much more often than you succeed, even if your occasional big innings keep your average up.

    I'm telling you this Azhar because that is why Alastair Cook and AB De Villiers are at the end of the road. Soon you will be the oldest batsman left in Test cricket.

    I know that you are the best batsman in the team. But I also know that sooner or later - I hope much later - this will happen to you.

    Like Cook, that's why I'm relieved that you are not the new captain. I know you could do it, but I want you to focus on keeping your batting world class for as long as possible, without the worries of captaincy.

    Take every Test series one at a time. As long as you are performing, you will be the first batsman named in the team.

    Where I'm different to the people who went before me is that I don't think we can afford for two veteran batsmen to lose form at the same time. I want you as the only older batsman in the team. That's why there is no road back for Salman Butt, even though he is your age. You stayed clean and he didn't, so you are the one who stays as the senior batsman. It's also why there will be no Fawad Alam.

    In Australia, many generations of cricketer have been influenced by Ian Chappell, who is a great believer in going out at the top. Don't wait until your performances are declining. When you are not the batsman you used to be, go. Don't wait to be dropped.

    That would be great advice for you and every other Pakistan cricketer.

    Make the most of your ability and your career. At this late stage, when you are 32, don't bother with the captaincy, just enjoy the time left to you as a batsman.

    But once you think you can't guarantee yourself at least 35 runs in 3/4 of your innings outside Asia, that's when it will be time to call it a day."
    You still haven't answered the question though.

  58. #58
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    "Take away a big number and the average of the rest will drop"

    You're a genius. What incredible insight.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Junaids View Post
    You are missing the point.

    The problem with Azhar Ali is the same as the problem with late-vintage Younis Khan.

    He is basically going big once per series, but leaving the team in trouble five or six times as often as he helps it.

    I want a batsman in the Top 3 to perform something like this in a 3 Test series:

    65 and 45
    120 and 5
    30 and 50

    That batsman has only let the team down once in 6 innings, and hopefully the others will compensate on that one occasion.

    The problem with late-vintage Younis Khan, and Azhar Ali is already going the same way, is that he performs as follows:

    10 and 5
    0 and 35
    210 and 25

    Both performances result in 285 runs at an average of 47.50.

    But the Elderly Batsman Going Big Once model means that you lose at least 2/3 of your away Tests.
    So you are saying you lose every test where a top order guy has two failures?

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    Azhar will still be our best bat for the next 2 or 3 years. He is batting better than ever. We get to tour Aus once every 5 or 6 years. So in a career u may only get 1 or 2 tours of Aus if u are lucky. so it is difficult to adapt but Azhar did remarkably well in Aus considering it was his first tour. By our next tour Azhar will probably be hitting his late 30s and will struggle.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Junaids View Post
    This is what I would do if I was Mickey Arthur.

    I would say the following to Azhar Ali:


    "Congratulations on a wonderful year. I've been proud to have you in the team I coach.

    It's time for us to look forward and try to plan the next stage of your career.

    As you know, you are the same age as Alastair Cook and AB De Villiers. It probably seems strange to you that their careers are coming to an end while you are in such awesome form. But I'd like to talk a little about that.

    Misbah and Younis were great servants to Pakistan cricket and they saved us from disgrace. They were the best trainers we had, the fittest players we had. Younis was probably the greatest ever Pakistan batsman. They were brilliant role models to young players like you.

    But I'm not sure whether you noticed what happened to them as batsmen when they become older than anyone else in world cricket. They still scored some big innings, especially in Asia, but if you think back to South Africa, to England, to Australia, I think something else happened.

    Younis kept his average up, but he failed in 5 innings out of 6 in South Africa, in 6 innings out of 7 in England and in 8 innings out of 10 in Australia and New Zealand.

    Think back. It's true, isn't it? You were there, Azhar!

    And the consistency of those Younis Khan failures meant that we lost 8 of those 10 Test matches.

    This happens to every batsman outside Asia. You reach a certain age and you fail much more often than you succeed, even if your occasional big innings keep your average up.

    I'm telling you this Azhar because that is why Alastair Cook and AB De Villiers are at the end of the road. Soon you will be the oldest batsman left in Test cricket.

    I know that you are the best batsman in the team. But I also know that sooner or later - I hope much later - this will happen to you.

    Like Cook, that's why I'm relieved that you are not the new captain. I know you could do it, but I want you to focus on keeping your batting world class for as long as possible, without the worries of captaincy.

    Take every Test series one at a time. As long as you are performing, you will be the first batsman named in the team.

    Where I'm different to the people who went before me is that I don't think we can afford for two veteran batsmen to lose form at the same time. I want you as the only older batsman in the team. That's why there is no road back for Salman Butt, even though he is your age. You stayed clean and he didn't, so you are the one who stays as the senior batsman. It's also why there will be no Fawad Alam.

    In Australia, many generations of cricketer have been influenced by Ian Chappell, who is a great believer in going out at the top. Don't wait until your performances are declining. When you are not the batsman you used to be, go. Don't wait to be dropped.

    That would be great advice for you and every other Pakistan cricketer.

    Make the most of your ability and your career. At this late stage, when you are 32, don't bother with the captaincy, just enjoy the time left to you as a batsman.

    But once you think you can't guarantee yourself at least 35 runs in 3/4 of your innings outside Asia, that's when it will be time to call it a day."

    Okay that is a good speech. But please tell me you think could replace Azhar? Just because he is 32 doesn't mean he should be replaced when he's clearly the best batsmen in the team.

  62. #62
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    Quote Originally Posted by Adil_94 View Post
    Azhar will still be our best bat for the next 2 or 3 years. He is batting better than ever. We get to tour Aus once every 5 or 6 years. So in a career u may only get 1 or 2 tours of Aus if u are lucky. so it is difficult to adapt but Azhar did remarkably well in Aus considering it was his first tour. By our next tour Azhar will probably be hitting his late 30s and will struggle.
    We tour Australia in late 2019,if i am not wrong..

  63. #63
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    Indeed it's closing - 2024-5 is just about 7/8 years away.

  64. #64
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    the most ridiculous thread i have seen.

  65. #65
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    Bump!

    He has missed a lot of cricket recently.

    Was a total failure in the swinging conditions of NZ (ODIs) and now he's failing on similar pitches in the practice matches in England.

    Time to be worried?

  66. #66
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    He has to get his form back otherwise we will be in tatters in the upcoming games.

    He has always been the guy taking the shine away off the new ball making it easier for YK, Misbah etc.


    "You aren't a failure if you fail, you are a failure if you don't get up to try again" - Imran Khan.

  67. #67
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    Quote Originally Posted by Prince of Pakistan View Post
    He has to get his form back otherwise we will be in tatters in the upcoming games.

    He has always been the guy taking the shine away off the new ball making it easier for YK, Misbah etc.
    How can we expect our Test players to be in form when they only play 5 tests per season?

    Secondly, I believe he had a couple of injuries last years. I really hope those injuries are not career-affecting because ever since his performance has taken a dip.

  68. #68
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    bowl him an inswinger pitched just on middle and off length early on.. he'll be the walking wicket.. this guy has limited technique and the strike rate of 35-40 is just not acceptable even according to test standards.. his limited stroke play and technique will be exposed in early summer against eng and ireland when the ball will swing miles in the air.. imagine anderson bowling to him in overcast conditions.. this guy will be the walking wicket even against the irish bowling attack.. we'll see..

  69. #69
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    Quote Originally Posted by PakSarZameen View Post
    How can we expect our Test players to be in form when they only play 5 tests per season?

    Secondly, I believe he had a couple of injuries last years. I really hope those injuries are not career-affecting because ever since his performance has taken a dip.
    That seems to be getting only worse by the year. Pak is playing more T20 and less tests. ODi's still about the same.

    Pak rely on Azhar heavily and if he doesn't get back to his old self then we have a serious problem be it the UK or the UAE. Also after a few failures they will move him back to nr 3 sacrificing either Babar or Haris.


    "You aren't a failure if you fail, you are a failure if you don't get up to try again" - Imran Khan.

  70. #70
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    I'm not that worried.Practice games don't tell much.

  71. #71
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    interesting thread, and kudos on the good analysis

    I'm pretty confident that after the Ire/Eng tests Azhar will be our leading scorer - he's an absolute fighter and I can't imagine his not having 2-3 good knocks.

    But I agree, he's probably on the downside of his career. I don't think he was ever as good or talented as some people here thought he was, but he has more fight in his than maybe any Pakistani batsmen in the last 20 years.

    Ultimately how long he plays will depend on how much the Pakistani batting improves in the next 1-2 years. If 3-4 of our young batsmen can take the next step, there's going to be a lot of pressure on Azhar Ali

  72. #72
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    If he fails badly this series and in both series in the UAE, then i'd somewhat agree that he is in decline. But this thread though Azhar is still Pakistan's best test batsman right now. Wanna drop someone? How about you drop that mediocre mental midget who averages <40 after playing so much test cricket in the UAE and who is only a year younger than Azhar?


    'There's a lady who's sure all that glitters is gold'

  73. #73
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    Bit premature isn't this?

    The other thing that seems to be hard for some people to accept is that...

    THIS IS THE BEST WE HAVE.

    Azhar may not be Justin Langer, but with Warner banned, he's the only obvious World XI opener, and maybe with him too.

    If we can't appreciate those riches, then we're punishing players with unrealistic expectations just because they'll never ATGs.

    Not saying we should expect and accept mediocrity, but it's important to remember that most players in most teams aren't earth shattering, and it's probably only been otherwise a few times in history.
    Last edited by Lefthanded; 6th May 2018 at 00:16.

  74. #74
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    Pakistan doesn't play enough test cricket never mind competitive test series


    So this policy of different players for different formats doesn't suit Pakistan

    It's probably better u draft in batsmen who are regulars in the Odis to the test team .

    Like some posters said how can a player get in game form if he is only playing 5 tests in a calendar year ,

  75. #75
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    Quote Originally Posted by MMHS View Post
    No, I am not missing the point - I am well aware of the age factor. The example of YK you have given doesn't make sense, because YK's apparent decline, if I take managing average close to 50 is decline, started in 2015, when he was officially close to 40. If you notice, I also mentioned that as a specialist Test batsman Azhar should manage it till close to 40, that's 7/8 years, not 2 - he has just turned 32.

    Azhar is going for one big innngs/series is factually incorrect - don't have the time to post all those, but since Birmingham, he had one triple, one double & 3 hundreds & 5 fifties (& a 49) in 13 Tests. In WI, he had 2 innings of 100+ and 4 in single digits - which indicates once he is in, he is difficult to dislodge. PAK player struggling outside Asia is not only a factor of age - if English players tour AUS once in a decade or Aussies in ENG for such; they won't do better. You may curse PCB for that, but not players, neither age - they are doing fine once settled in the tour. Imagine English players touring Asia once in every 5 years to face the spinners!!!! Facing fast bowlers in AUS isn't the easiest job - after 2/3 months preparation last Ashes in AUS didn't go that smooth for Pom batsmen, well under 30. In that regard, what Azhar did in AUS from his first tour there in 7 years was remarkable.

    Cherry picking stats for backing a biased logic won't go unnoticed - you are the same guy couple of days back posted Umar Akmal's 4 FC innings of any decency, probably in over last half a decade to prove his "still remaining potential" - now this. Azhar should retire from ODI team, but he is the best Test opener now in world & should remain there for at least 3/4 years. If PAK can find a better replacement, he'll leave by 36-38, but if they don't find one, it's not his fault.

    YK & Misbah prolonged their career, which didn't help PAK team in terms of phasing out a generation - BUT, they made the XI on merit, for every single innings, till last one & easily could have played for a year; YK may be more - on proper cricket merit. They were doing much better than young & U30 Gary Ballance in that regard. When Azhar should retire will be determined by PAK's future batting resources, not for his age only - he is not Mohammad Hafeez or Shoaib Malik.
    Great post and well said!


    IN PAKISTAN LIES OUR DELIVERANCE,DEFENCE, AND HONOUR.
    -Muhammad Ali Jinnah

  76. #76
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    I think his 2016-2017 purple patch is over. The pressure of leading the batting unit is getting him, because he was never - and will never - be good enough to be the leading batsman. He is a very good supporting batsman, but he is too limited to be the flagship batsman in the team.

    The opposition does not view him as a threat, and he lacks the ability to take the game away from them. He is overrated by Pakistani fans because he is the only quality batsman in the Test team at this point. The only difference between him and the other batsmen is that he is able to last for 100 deliveries more.

    He is always in survival mode, and is not able to impose himself at the crease even after facing a thousand deliveries. An ordinary but a very gutsy player, who will not look great in a very good batting unit.

  77. #77
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    i'm not worried, he struggled at the start of the last England tour as well but done okay in the end.

  78. #78
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    Azhar Ali: time to say goodbye?

    I am well aware that Azhar Ali scored lots of runs in Australia on grassless wickets.

    But, as I have been writing fo the last three years, he is the same age as Alastair Cook and Salman Butt, whose careers are considered to be on their last legs.

    Azhar was a catastrophic failure on the last tour of South Africa.

    If he fails in England and South Africa, will there be any excuse for continuing to persist with a veteran in decline?

    I believe that no Test team should ever carry more than two players over the age of 30. This not only ensures that teams donít age and fade together, but allows constant renewal and rejuvenation.

    Currently Iím seeing no reason why Sarfraz Ahmed and Asad Shafiq should not be the two players selected beyond the age of 30.

  79. #79
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    Quote Originally Posted by Junaids View Post
    I am well aware that Azhar Ali scored lots of runs in Australia on grassless wickets.

    But, as I have been writing fo the last three years, he is the same age as Alastair Cook and Salman Butt, whose careers are considered to be on their last legs.

    Azhar was a catastrophic failure on the last tour of South Africa.

    If he fails in England and South Africa, will there be any excuse for continuing to persist with a veteran in decline?

    I believe that no Test team should ever carry more than two players over the age of 30. This not only ensures that teams don’t age and fade together, but allows constant renewal and rejuvenation.

    Currently I’m seeing no reason why Sarfraz Ahmed and Asad Shafiq should not be the two players selected beyond the age of 30.
    Yes we should definetly keep Asad.

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    Azhar and Shafiq are getting exposed now alongwith Babar Azam.


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