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Should Azhar Ali open again for Pakistan in Test?

Azhar Ali

Pakistan’s senior-most and veteran batsman Azhar Ali is one of the finest batsman that came into the side.

Azhar Ali joined the squad as a young batsman who also featured himself as an occasional leg-spinner back in 2010 at Lord’s, London. Azhar rose his ranks and became one of the finest Test batsmen. After Misbah and Younis, Azhar was the next most discussed player in Pakistan’s Test cricket.

Before the start of 2020, Azhar has scored at an average of 588.5 runs per year. He was one of the most consistent batsmen in the Pakistan team since his debut after Younis and Misbah and by the time till the duo played together their last game, Azhar was leading the charts for Pakistan since his debut, scoring 4968 followed by Younis (4829) and Misbah (4214).

Azhar Ali

Azhar Ali was the first player to score a triple century in day/night Test match

But now, we need to talk about something very important. Remember Azhar Ali was used to be an opener in Test cricket? I think it’s time we need to talk about that.

Should Azhar Ali open again?

Since Azhar’s debut in 2010, only Mohammad Hafeez, who retired from Test cricket in 2018, has scored more runs than any other Pakistan opening batsman. Azhar Ali comes at second place for most runs. But he has the best batting average at the opening position.

What interesting thing about Azhar’s opening average is that it betters the likes of Alastair Cook, Andrew Strauss, Marvin Atapattu and TM Dilshan.

At the opening position, he is the only visiting openers to score a double century in Australia where he scored a magnificent 205 at the MCG in 2016. That year was particular was best for him in all years he has played.

He even scored Pakistan’s fourth triple century in Test cricket in the Day/Night Test match against the West Indies.

Should Pakistan go back to Azhar Ali as opener in Test cricket again? It does not seem to be a bad idea as he usually does open. But that will also questions his opening partner. It will be unfair to drop either of Abid Ali or even the newcomer Imran Butt.

What are your thoughts on this?

Also read:

PAK vs SA: Pakistan batting top order failed yet again

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  1. Pingback: PAK vs SA: Pakistan batting top order failed yet again - CricFolks

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