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  1. #1
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    When are Azhar Ali and Asad Shafiq going to take up responsibility in Test matches?

    Azhar was performing until Younis/Misbah retired but has been struggling massively since then. Should never have been demoted as an opener, but his output is pathetic in recent times. Barely ever looked settled at the crease and is average 12 this year. The average has been in free fall for a while now and he looks like a guy on the verge of being dropped. With a tour of South Africa coming up, his being in good form and scoring would have been a big plus for this side.

    Asad has continued in the same vein as before. He makes a few runs here and there but hardly ever stands up when the team needs him, though he is excellent at building on big scores. That's hardly the sign of a great, or even a good player. This may be a little harsh on Shafiq considering that he has played a couple of decent knocks in the last few Tests, but at this stage of his career, he needs to be making tons.

    These guys are 33 and 32 years old respectively. How long will it take them to actually start playing a crucial role in Test matches, and start putting their hands up and performing when it matters? Currently they are the supposed 'senior backbone' of the line-up but they can't be depended on at all.


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  2. #2
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    Both very inconsistent so never and lack that sort of quality.

  3. #3
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    Poor investments especially Asad Shafiq.

    Not even averaging 40 i think. Poor for your main batsman after 50 tests.


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

  4. #4
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    Wonder why people always expected them to step up with the spotlight on?

    They crumble under the mere mention of pressure.

  5. #5
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    They are support players . They can't lead a batting line up.

  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by Hasan123 View Post
    They are support players . They can't lead a batting line up.
    So time to invest in Imam-ul-Haq, Fakhar Zaman

    Azhar Ali - He may realize his role...!!
    Asad Shafiq - How many years he needed more ?
    Babar Azam - if 14 aren't enough to prove him then how many?
    Haris Sohail - Should have given more chances before we can comment.


    ďBe yourself; everyone else is already taken.Ē

  7. #7
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    Both were 30s when younis khan retired so if they were good enough to lead the batting line up they would have been doing so even when younis khan was around. Fact is they will never be as good or good enough to consistently lead the batting line up.

  8. #8
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    Give them some more time. I'm confident they will step up.

  9. #9
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    Asad Shafiq has never been convincing to me.

    His ODI record hasn't helped matters, but his average in test cricket after all this time shows he's been inconsistent at best.

    Early favoritism got him in the team over other more deserving players and he's managed to do just enough to hold on ever since. He's always been borderline imo, hitting the odd great score in a series to keep his place.

    Azhar Ali has been way better but he's been just been plain bad in the last few series.
    Last edited by Blistering Barnacle; 16th October 2018 at 20:18.

  10. #10
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    They are in their mid 30's now and you think they would take that up?

    They have been playing for 8-9 years and did not do it then to an extent and now when they're approaching the last 2-3 years of their international careers.

  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by theariezman View Post
    So time to invest in Imam-ul-Haq, Fakhar Zaman

    Azhar Ali - He may realize his role...!!
    Asad Shafiq - How many years he needed more ?
    Babar Azam - if 14 aren't enough to prove him then how many?
    Haris Sohail - Should have given more chances before we can comment.
    Invest in who you want out of those. None of them are leaders of batting line ups.

  12. #12
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    When they are left to bat at #3 and #4 for the forseeable future. Moving them around the batting-order will only cause confusion a loss of form.

    They're our current stalwarts and the best test batsmen in Pakistan.

  13. #13
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    In 8 years time these guys inspite of never being out of the test side have only played 50 tests which is shockingly low when you compare that with players from the Big 5 and the volume of cricket they play. During Misbah's time, these players massively benefited from the fact that Pakistan played such infrequent test cricket, everytime Asad Shafiq was out of form, hadn't scored for ages and was on the verge of being dropped, Pakistan had a huge break for 6-7 months before the next test series due to which all was forgotten and Asad Shafiq got another chance by default.

    Ofcourse Misbah had a soft spot for grinding unattractive batsmen as well which helped their cause.

  14. #14
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    Wouldnít be good enough to make a England, India, Australia List A side.

    Score soft runs never done anything impactful

  15. #15
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    Wasted investment. Fawad Alam deserved more instead of them

  16. #16
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    Big ask stepping up to the plate after Misbah and Younis.

    What this shows is just how good the 2 veterans were.



  17. #17
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    I can still excuse Azhar, given all that he has achieved with 'limited' talent. Really no excuse for Shafiq. The zero's are predictable now - always following a decent performance.

  18. #18
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    Lol if you're still asking this question after 8 years then you expect too much from these over the hill men.

    The fanbase, the management has given them way too much time to cement themselves, and yet after almost a decade they couldn't do it.

    If they can't take initiative after all this time, don't expect much as they head into their mid 30s. Time for both to kick the bucket in cricket and for new guys to come in.

  19. #19
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    Don't really see the point of Azhar Ali. I would rather have Nathan Lyon batting for me.

  20. #20
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    Quote Originally Posted by shane View Post
    Don't really see the point of Azhar Ali. I would rather have Nathan Lyon batting for me.
    umm... Azhar has been our best batsman on every tour outside Asia.

    Scored a double hundred in Australia.

  21. #21
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    Both have been playing for 7-8 years now and have never been consistent performers. At this late stage in their careers it is unrealistic to expect significant improvements from them.

    They are what they are - either drop them or accept their inconsistent performances

  22. #22
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    Quote Originally Posted by Hawkeye View Post
    umm... Azhar has been our best batsman on every tour outside Asia.

    Scored a double hundred in Australia.
    its been almost 18 months since Azhar scored a century.. lets not live in the past here

  23. #23
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    Azhar should have remained as an opener. Doesnt have the game to be a world class middle order batsman.

  24. #24
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    Pakistan doesn’t play enough test matches. They get to play a few times a year, it is hard to ask someone to keep up theirs performances when they do not get a chance to play consistently at the top level.

    Azhar Ali should have still been with the ODI team. He performed well in champions trophy and can be an asset in Odis to difficult foreign trips.

  25. #25
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    Quote Originally Posted by Saj View Post
    Big ask stepping up to the plate after Misbah and Younis.

    What this shows is just how good the 2 veterans were.
    No Questions about it. After Inzi erra Misbah and Younis were about best bet but we cannot say the same about Azhar and Asad.

  26. #26
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    None of them are good enough to play international matches so as Babar in test.

  27. #27
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    When are Azhar Ali and Asad Shafiq going to take up responsibility in Test matches?
    The two of them were actually discussing this topic out in the middle, when the Aussies rudely interrupted their chat with a run out.

  28. #28
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    Responsibility? Azhar is main reason in both tests for giving Australia an initiative back into the inns with control with this pathetic snail like ability which kills momentum and causes Who team inns to grind to a halt.

  29. #29
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    It's really not a great sign if this question has to be asked over and over again, repeatedly.


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  30. #30
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    Never. They both are average and will remain so.

  31. #31
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    Mickey has been clueless here. Batting position is actually a lot more important in Tests. Because of consistency and match situation.

    Azhar Ali was very prolific as an opener and has a decent technique against pace. Mickey's logic was to move him to #3 because your best batsman should be at 3. Asad is better than Azhar overall though. #3 slot should be for a strokemaker, with a good technique and can bat for long periods. Azhar Ali doesn't have the strokes. Babar, Haris or Asad should bat there. I do think it is time to give Asad responsibility and bat him at #3. He has the skills, fitness and temperament. Babar has failed at #3 so far while Haris has poor fitness and throws his wicket away. Plus, Haris has batted at 4-5 mostly in domestic cricket.

    Asad was great at #6 during the Misbah era, but he only was being played there to groom him for a top-order role. That's what the #5-6 slots are for. If you are a 32 year old with 50+ Tests, you should be in the Top 4. He played a few innings at #3, averaged 45, but then had a pair vs WI which made him get dropped down the order. I really don't get this. You can't keep changing the order. Asad has done well at 6, but he has the skills to bat in the Top 4, no flaws in his batting, just need consistency. Really poor from Mickey as he gave Babar countless chances at 3, but he drops Asad down after one game.

    I do think Asad will come good at #3-4, but as for Azhar, he needs to open or he is done am afraid.


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

  32. #32
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    Quote Originally Posted by Rayyman View Post
    Mickey has been clueless here. Batting position is actually a lot more important in Tests. Because of consistency and match situation.

    Azhar Ali was very prolific as an opener and has a decent technique against pace. Mickey's logic was to move him to #3 because your best batsman should be at 3. Asad is better than Azhar overall though. #3 slot should be for a strokemaker, with a good technique and can bat for long periods. Azhar Ali doesn't have the strokes. Babar, Haris or Asad should bat there. I do think it is time to give Asad responsibility and bat him at #3. He has the skills, fitness and temperament. Babar has failed at #3 so far while Haris has poor fitness and throws his wicket away. Plus, Haris has batted at 4-5 mostly in domestic cricket.

    Asad was great at #6 during the Misbah era, but he only was being played there to groom him for a top-order role. That's what the #5-6 slots are for. If you are a 32 year old with 50+ Tests, you should be in the Top 4. He played a few innings at #3, averaged 45, but then had a pair vs WI which made him get dropped down the order. I really don't get this. You can't keep changing the order. Asad has done well at 6, but he has the skills to bat in the Top 4, no flaws in his batting, just need consistency. Really poor from Mickey as he gave Babar countless chances at 3, but he drops Asad down after one game.

    I do think Asad will come good at #3-4, but as for Azhar, he needs to open or he is done am afraid.
    Agreed.Azhar shouild only bat as an opener,but then hafiz will be having no place while they are trying to accomodate him.

  33. #33
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    I agree.. the batting order should be

    Fakhar
    Imam/azhar
    Asad
    Babar
    Hafeez

    Then everyone else.. ye bhi ker ke dekh lo takey koi gunjaish na reh jaye..


    Kut khani hai to aa jao idher, khushbo laga ke!

  34. #34
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    Never. Both are not the kind you could depend upon. Azhar sucks all the momentum out of the innings and Shafiq is well, Shafiq.

  35. #35
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    The Great Australian (Perpetuated) Myth of having your best batsman at #3 is the greatest bit of trolling in cricketing history.

  36. #36
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    They can't take responsbillity. Hopefully Babar can step up.

  37. #37
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    Asadís last chance to do something significant is next SAF tour. His record, surprisingly is good outside Asia and he has shots, but somehow finds a way to get out after 40s & 50s. I think, he has still few years left but he must go back to #6.

    Azhar never was a match winner, but during his peak, he did score lots of vital runs. He has passed critical age, therefore I donít think heíll ever be effective like 2013-16, still he can contribute as Test opener for few years, but donít think he is helping team from #3.

  38. #38
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    Maybe just maybe we should get rid of both of them and bring in Saud Shakeel and Saad Ali in the middle order.

  39. #39
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    I agree that Azhar is most useful when opening, but then the question is what about Fakhar? The team management can't be thinking of him as a rental test opener. And if Fakhar is legit part of the test plans, he is capable of opening the innings and playing positively (granted, he's only played a test but still you can't ignore it). I feel it would've been easier for team management if they weren't accommodating for Hafeez. Otherwise, the lineup could've possibly been Imam, Fakhar, Azhar, Haris, Asad, Babar, Sarfraz. I know Azhar would be at 3 but ideally, I think in terms of order, this is the best lineup Pak can dish out. For this, I guess we gotta have a little bit of faith in Azhar.

    In response to the initial post simply put SA tour, for me, will be make or break for Azhar and Asad.

  40. #40
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    Quote Originally Posted by TeymurBlake View Post
    Maybe just maybe we should get rid of both of them and bring in Saud Shakeel and Saad Ali in the middle order.
    The selectors will never drop their two most experienced Test batsmen at the same time. They recalled Mohammed Hafeez after one bad tournament so seniors will always have a longer rope due to our cultural fetish for seniority.

    Realistically they'll drop one - but I still see Azhar in the squad for SAF.
    Last edited by Markhor; 18th November 2018 at 04:23.

  41. #41
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    Asad Shafiq may go down in history of our cricket as the highest loss making investment. I hope I am proven wrong though.

    Azhar Ali has lost his touch and may not come back as the player he once was.

  42. #42
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    Quote Originally Posted by TeamPak95 View Post
    I agree that Azhar is most useful when opening, but then the question is what about Fakhar? The team management can't be thinking of him as a rental test opener. And if Fakhar is legit part of the test plans, he is capable of opening the innings and playing positively (granted, he's only played a test but still you can't ignore it). I feel it would've been easier for team management if they weren't accommodating for Hafeez. Otherwise, the lineup could've possibly been Imam, Fakhar, Azhar, Haris, Asad, Babar, Sarfraz. I know Azhar would be at 3 but ideally, I think in terms of order, this is the best lineup Pak can dish out. For this, I guess we gotta have a little bit of faith in Azhar.

    In response to the initial post simply put SA tour, for me, will be make or break for Azhar and Asad.
    Azhar should open. If Fakhar comes in, he can be in the middle-order. Azhar-Imam-Shafiq-Haris-Babar-Fakhar-Sarfraz is better imo.


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

  43. #43
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    Azhar is gonna get back to his 2016 level form sooner or later, more concerned about Shafiq, he has been a waste of time for almost a decade now


    Meri Barbaadiyan Durust Magar...
    Too Bata Kya Tujhe Sawaab Mila...

  44. #44
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    Shafiq has been okay recently. He is not a star batsman and cannot be the man, but I feel there has been an edge to his batting over the last few series. He has batted with more conviction and does not deserve to be dropped.

    Azhar is a painfully impact-less barsman. Even his hundreds are detrimental to the teamís cause, and he has this unique ability of not being able to dominate even after spending hours at the crease, and has to be carried by his partner in every partnership. We literally lose nothing by dropping him.

  45. #45
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    How did the tide changed all of sudden in PP from Azhar to Shafiq? I remember an year ago, Azhar was considered Pakistan most valuable test player while Shafiq was accused of mostly scoring useless inning, that too once in a while in losing cause.

    Didn't Azhar got 300 vs WI and a 200 in Australia?

  46. #46
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    Azhar still sticks around but Asad is just a waste. If only we had given these games to people averaging 50 + in Pak domestic. People who don't crumble and know how to battle it out.

    Haris Sohail today has shown why Fawad Alam would have been a better investment. Both average 50 + in Pak FC.


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

  47. #47
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    Both players are taking responsability by making cups of tea for players in changing room. A role suited to both of them.

  48. #48
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    Make Asad Shafiq 1 down in SA for 3 tests and let it decide once and for all

  49. #49
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    At least azhar is grinding runs out

    It may not be pretty but hes making runs

    Shafiq has been poor for a long time and its reflected in his avge which continues to fall with every game

  50. #50
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    Quote Originally Posted by Amjid Javed View Post
    Both players are taking responsability by making cups of tea for players in changing room. A role suited to both of them.
    Give me a break. Azhar played a very good knock today and besides the first ball, rarely looked like getting out. Atleast have some justification for your biased negativity.

  51. #51
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    Quote Originally Posted by Titan24 View Post
    Make Asad Shafiq 1 down in SA for 3 tests and let it decide once and for all
    They already tried that and he failed numerous times. Asad is batting at the right position, it's his judgement and shot selection that comes into question especially for a guy who has played over 60 tests and was considered to be one of the stalwarts of this batting line-up not too long ago.

  52. #52
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    Azhar with all his limitations is still miles better than shafiq. Both are not ideal batsmen for us but beggars cant be chosers.
    Last edited by Abdullah719; 24th November 2018 at 23:00.

  53. #53
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    Azhar is a good test batsmen. Shafiq is as terrible as it gets.

  54. #54
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    When they retire.

  55. #55
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    Asad seems to have really gone downhill of late. Some really poor shots and lazy dismissals.

    He doesn't seem to be putting a big price on his wicket.



  56. #56
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    Quote Originally Posted by Saj View Post
    Asad seems to have really gone downhill of late. Some really poor shots and lazy dismissals.

    He doesn't seem to be putting a big price on his wicket.
    Assad looks scared to take responsibility- he has not gone anywhere and effectively a decade has been wasted on him.

  57. #57
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    They won't. Azhar has a history of some really excellent performances but since the loss of Misbah and YK he has fallen off.

    Shafiq should have been kicked out 5 years ago.

    The test team batting wise is in complete disarray. Hafeez, Azhar, Shafiq, Sarfraz are all "seniors" who are all terrible.

    Babar and Imam are young, if they are to be kicked out, I would give them a year or two before putting red flags, and Harris has only played 8 tests and not really gotten a good run due to injury.

    It doesn't look like we have any class to play the longer format anymore. I'm not too learned on the Pakistani kids, but does anyone show promise to be a test batsmen in the upper order?

  58. #58
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    For some experts on here:


    Azhar average in 2018: 26


    Asad average in 2018: 35


    So Asad averages a good 9 runs more per innings than Azhar with substantially better SR (52 vs 37) but there are calls for Asad to be dropped and Azhar to be kept on? Mashallah zero bias detected.


    #Hum apko container deingaye dharnay ke liyay

  59. #59
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    Quote Originally Posted by Syed1 View Post
    For some experts on here:


    Azhar average in 2018: 26


    Asad average in 2018: 35


    So Asad averages a good 9 runs more per innings than Azhar with substantially better SR (52 vs 37) but there are calls for Asad to be dropped and Azhar to be kept on? Mashallah zero bias detected.
    This is azhars first poor year in a long time Before this year he had a great year in 2016 and a decent 2017 Hes got a double and triple hundred in test cricket

    Whereas shafiq has been playing to this poor standard for most of his career

    Theres a reason why shafiq avges 39 and azhar 45

  60. #60
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    Azhar rising to the occasion.


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  61. #61
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    Quote Originally Posted by Abdullah719 View Post
    Azhar rising to the occasion.
    and as usual asad shafiq is playing well with azhar on last test match of series as he always does.

  62. #62
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    Quote Originally Posted by Syed1 View Post
    For some experts on here:


    Azhar average in 2018: 26


    Asad average in 2018: 35


    So Asad averages a good 9 runs more per innings than Azhar with substantially better SR (52 vs 37) but there are calls for Asad to be dropped and Azhar to be kept on? Mashallah zero bias detected.
    Zero bias is when we put numbers without context.

  63. #63
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    They both are limited but its insulting to Azhar to compare him with Shafiq. Out of form Azhar will always put up more fight than Shafiq.

  64. #64
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    Quote Originally Posted by Abdullah719 View Post
    Azhar rising to the occasion.
    Asad needs to match his inns.

  65. #65
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    A century for both of them in one innings. When was the last time that happened?

    Great to see them taking on responsibility.

  66. #66
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    Great to see both senior batsmen crack tons.

    Hope they carry this form to SA.

  67. #67
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    but how about others also doing the same?


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  68. #68
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    Azhar is leagues ahead of asad and like someone has mentioned above, it is an insult to lump Azhar with the mediocre one.

    Azhar bats with openers being out and not contributing much, moreover the ball is new, bowlers are fired up and the opposition is on the attack, whilst the mediocre one strolls in when the bowlers are tired or the ball is old, and when he does come in with a low score and Pak need rescuing - he fails miserably.

  69. #69
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    Pathetic dismissals for both when the platform had been set by the top order.

    Asad should be discarded.


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  70. #70
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    Disappointing performances from both.

  71. #71
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    Azhar shouldn't bat lower than 3. Asad shouldn't bat higher than 12.

  72. #72
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    Azhars 2nd innings dismisal was nothing short of embarrassing, courtney Walsh could have played that better. No other country would give azhar 60+ test matches.

  73. #73
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    They don;t need to, there position in team is secure, for ever.

  74. #74
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    Asad needs to go, has a pathetic average for a batsman batting in the cushy position of number 5, when the new ball has been worn off and yet he can't even average 40 despite Pakistan playing most of their tests in Asia. There are several batsmen in the domestic scene with better career averages chomping at the bit to replace Asad, he really needs to be permanently discarded.


    Politics trumps intelligence (pun intended).

  75. #75
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    They can't because they don't have the abilities. Both of them were never a proper batsman to start with so they can't develop to be a genuine batsman. Time to move on.

  76. #76
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    Azhar should play. Shafiq needs to go. An uninterrupted in the test team has still not helped him exorcise his frailties. And it’s not just a mental issue - every half decent bowler know that the way to get him out is pitching it to hit middle to leg stump. He does himself no favors by trying to dead bat such deliveries rather than working them away to midwicket. And just one when you think he has gotten over his traditionally nervous start, the bowler gives him a pitched up delivery outside off stump and he is caught in the slips. He doesn’t inspire confidence at any stage of his innings. It’s rare to say that for a batsman having played 60 to 70 tests

  77. #77
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    Asad seems short on confidence and his career is going nowhere.

    He needs to reassess his approach and where his batting is heading.

    I think they should have left him at number 6 in the batting order.



  78. #78
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    Quote Originally Posted by Saj View Post
    Asad seems short on confidence and his career is going nowhere.

    He needs to reassess his approach and where his batting is heading.

    I think they should have left him at number 6 in the batting order.
    Batting up the order is never an easy job but when you're the new kid on the block and learning the ropes it's fine to find your feet down the bottom , as you gain experience then the team comes first and you need to bat up the order especially when you have the 'technique' for it.

    Ideally, after all this time Shafiq should be batting at no.4; but due to his lack of consistency and mental toughness we have been hiding him, Shafiq has had it so easy as a member of Pakistan cricket and that is rare, you ought to think that after all this time he would have been a light at the end of the tunnel due to the massive investment which in itself is a big deal but he has failed his country.

    Shafiq should be dropped permanently and needs a massive amount of time away from the game and at the age of 32 you just don't know where he goes from here. I can see him being given another shot if he does well in domestic cricket but he doesn't deserve it in my opinion.


    Ah, so this is what it feels like

  79. #79
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    The sooner Pak drops Asad, Sarfraz the better it will be for the team.

    These two just donít seem to have in them to be a good batsman.

    One is a mental choker, other canít surivive more than a few balls and is only good for shouting and yelling at the junior players.

  80. #80
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    Asad was never good enough to fill Younis Khan's shoes.


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