|Full name||Azhar Ali|
19 February 1985|
Lahore, Punjab, Pakistan
|Height||5 ft 9 in (1.75 m)|
|Batting style||Right-hand bat|
|Role||Batsman, ODI captain|
|Test debut (cap 199)||13 July 2010 v Australia|
|Last Test||13-17 October 2016 v West Indies|
|ODI debut (cap 185)||30 May 2011 v Ireland|
|Last ODI||2 October 2016 v West Indies|
|ODI shirt no.||79|
|Domestic team information|
|2016-present||Baluchistan cricket team|
|Source: ESPNcricinfo, 07 October 2016|
Azhar Ali (Urdu: اظہر علی; born 19 February 1985 in Lahore, Punjab) is a Pakistani international cricketer and the current captain of Pakistan ODI team and vice captain of the Test side. Ali made his Test debut for Pakistan against Australia in the first Test at Lord's in July 2010. An agile right-hand batsman and a part-time leg-break bowler, Ali became the first ever Centurion, Double Centurion & Triple Centurion in a Day and Night Test Match, when he scored 302 against West Indies in October 2016.
Domestically, he has played for Khan Research Laboratories, Lahore, Lahore Eagles, Lahore Lions, Lahore Qalandars, Pakistan A and Huntly (Scotland) during his career. He was the captain of Lahore Qalandars in the first edition of the Pakistan Super League.
A right handed opening batsman and a part-time leg spinner by trade. His solid technique and ever-lasting patience was exactly what Pakistan was searching for and his calmness at the crease perfectly suited the crucial number 3 slot. Azhar has worked his way steadily up Pakistan's domestic scene since 2006. That was the season he began opening regularly for Khan Research Laboratories, a move that fetched him two hundreds and two fifties in five matches, and he hasn't looked back. In four seasons since, he's been averaging 40-plus with 11 hundreds, commendable figures in a country where opening is a modern-day curse. Azhar Ali was appointed captain Of Lahore Qalandars in the first edition of Pakistan Super League. He played 7 matches and scored 180 runs in the Tournament.
Starting against Australia and England
Following the exclusion of middle-order stalwarts Younus Khan and Mohammad Yousuf from the Pakistani team in 2010, Ali was drafted into the lineup for the Test series against Australia and England in July 2010. He made his debut against Australia in July, along with Umar Amin; Azhar scored 17 runs in his debut innings before he was caught behind by Tim Paine. In the second innings, he scored 42 as Pakistan lost the match by 150 runs. In the second Test match against Australia, he scored 30 runs in the first innings, followed by his maiden half century in the second as Pakistan recorded their first Test victory over the Australians in fifteen years. He struggled in the first two Tests against England, recording a 32-ball duck during the second match as Pakistan were bundled out for 72. Following these disastrous collapses Mohammad Yousuf was recalled to the squad and Amin lost his place, but Azhar was given another opportunity and found his feet in the third Test, scoring an unbeaten 92.
South Africa series in November 2010
Ali retained his place in the Test squad for the series against South Africa in November. He scored half centuries in both innings of the first Test, and helped Pakistan, chasing an improbable 451, avoid defeat with a crucial fourth-innings partnership with the returning Younus Khan. He top-scored with 90 in the first innings of the second Test, before producing another solid performance alongside captain Misbah-ul-Haq in the second innings, finishing unbeaten after facing 135 deliveries to secure another draw.
January 2011: Tour of New Zealand
Following consistent performances against South Africa backed up with experience against England and Australia the selectors picked Ali for the two-match test series against New Zealand in January 2011, also young Pakistan batsman Asad Shafiq was given a place alongside Ali. In the first innings of the first match Ali only managed 18 and wasn't required to bat in the following innings as Pakistan won by 10-wickets. During the second match of the series Azhar registered his sixth half-century.
June 2012: Tour of Sri Lanka
Azhar was picked in the both ODI and Test squad for the Sri Lankan tour in 2012. He was impressive in the ODIs by scoring 96 in the 2nd ODI and 81* in the 4th ODI, and became the second Pakistani to carry his bat after Saeed Anwar. He finished the series as the leading run-scorer for Pakistan Azhar Ali made his 4th test hundred and finished on 157 in the 1st innings of the 2nd test at SSC. Azhar continued his good form and made consecutive centuries as he scored 136 in the 2nd innings. His crucial innings enabled him make into the Top-10 of ICC Test Rankings for the first time, as he joined Graeme Smith on 753 points.
After Misbah Ul Haq retired from ODIs, The Pakistan Cricket board had a tough job to do while appointing Misbah's successor. The potential candidates were either too inconsistent or had some disciplinary issues. Sarfraz Ahmed gave the selectors a long thought but the board finally decided to go in favor of Azhar Ali who hadn't played ODI cricket for almost 2 years at the time of his appointment. While this decision was opposed by many, Azhar Ali seemed determined to take the Pakistani team right on top.
Pakistan tour of Bangladesh
At the end of April, Pakistan ended up on the wrong side of a whitewash in Bangladesh. Under his captaincy, Pakistan played their first ODI series against Bangladesh. The tournament was disappointing as Pakistan lost all three ODIs. Azhar came to the side with good scores of 62 and 101, his maiden ODI century but could not prevent his team from the whitewash. This was Pakistan's first series lost to Bangladesh
Zimbabwe tour of Pakistan
Zimbabwe tour to Pakistan, after a lapse of six years, proved fruitful for him as Pakistan under his captaincy won the three match ODI series 2-0. He scored his second ODI century in front of the home crowd in first ODI.
Pakistan tour of Sri Lanka
Pakistan's quest for ICC Champions Trophy qualification received a significant boost against Sri Lanka. Pakistan cricket team won the series after nine years in Sri Lanka. Pakistan team had got last victory in 2006 in the leadership of Inzamam Ul Haq. Azhar scored most of the runs in this series, and became the Fastest Pakistani batsman to 1000 ODI runs, scoring them in only 21 innings.
Ahmad Shahzad spoke at the end of the game praising Azhar Ali for allowing him to play his natural game. He said
Azhar is in the form of his life at the moment and he gives us confidence to play our natural game, When you see him at the other end, it makes you bat positively.
Pakistan tour of England
In August 2016, Pakistan toured England and Ireland for a full tour. Azhar Ali had a modest test tour highlight of which was 139 against England in Birmingham in a losing effort. He scored 30 in the final test at the Oval to finish test series at 2-2. ODI series for Pakistan was abysmal and was one of the worst in history of Pakistan in England. Azhar Ali captained his side in a 4-1 losing effort which included a thumping 169 run loss in which England scored a world record of 444 runs in record breaking score in a One Day International inning. Azhar Ali scored 208 runs in 5 innings including two scores of 80 and 82.
Azhar Ali was criticized for his captaincy as well as low personal scoring rate. After the England series there were rumors that Azhar Ali might step down as captain of Pakistan ODI team He quashed all such rumors and vowed to continue as captain of ODI team. PCB and coach Mickey Arthur backed him and he was retained as ODI skipper against west indies in UAE.
West Indies in UAE against Pakistan in 2016
After winning the T20 series 3-0 Pakistan won the ODI series as well. Pakistan won the first match by 111 Runs making it the 4th highest winning margin against west indies by Pakistan.Babar Azam scored record 3 back to back centuries and Pak won the 2nd match by 59 runs. Azhar scored his 3rd ODI hundred in the 3rd match of the series and became the first Pakistani captain to score 3 centuries as captain.
Pakistan Super League
He was appointed captain of Lahore Qalandars in the 2016 Pakistan Super League. He scored 183 runs in 7 matches for Lahore Qalandars . In September 2016 Lahore Qalandars announced that Brendon McCullum will replace him as the captain of the side in 2017. Qalandars retained him as a player. .
Records and achievements
- Azhar Ali is the quickest Pakistani batsman to score 1000 runs in 50-over format.
- Azhar Ali is at 7th in the list of Top 10 Fastest Batsmen To Reach 1000 ODI Runs.
- First and Only Pakistani ODI captain to score 3 hundreds as a captain.
- Azhar Ali tops the list of Most runs as captain after 10 ODIs with 611 Runs.
- Azhar Ali is the first ODI captain for Pakistan to score a century in a run chase.
- He is the 1st ever Centurion , Double Centurion & Triple Centurion in a Day and Night Test Match.
|Azhar Ali's Test centuries|
|1||100||15||Sri Lanka||Dubai, United Arab Emirates||Dubai International Cricket Stadium||2011||Won|
|2||157||21||England||Dubai, United Arab Emirates||Dubai International Cricket Stadium||2012||Won|
|3||157||23||Sri Lanka||Colombo, Sri Lanka||Sinhalese Sports Club Ground||2012||Drawn|
|4||136||24||Sri Lanka||Kandy, Sri Lanka||Pallekele International Cricket Stadium||2012||Drawn|
|5||103||32||Sri Lanka||Sharjah, United Arab Emirates||Sharjah Cricket Association Stadium||2014||Won|
|6||109||36||Australia||Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates||Zayed Sports City Stadium||2014|
|7||100*||Australia||Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates||Zayed Sports City Stadium||2014|
|8||226||41||Bangladesh||Dhaka, Bangladesh||Sher-e-Bangla Cricket Stadium||2015||Won|
|9||117||43||Sri Lanka||Colombo, Sri Lanka||Paikiasothy Saravanamuttu Stadium||2015||Lost|
|11||302*||50||West Indies||Dubai, United Arab Emirates||Dubai International Cricket Stadium||2016||Won|
One Day International centuries
|Azhar Ali's One Day International centuries|
|1||101||17||Bangladesh||Dhaka, Bangladesh||Sher-e-Bangla Cricket Stadium||2015||Lost|
|2||102||19||Zimbabwe||Lahore, Pakistan||Gaddafi Stadium||2015||Won|
|3||101||42||West Indies||Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates||Sheikh Zayed Stadium||2016||Won|
Man of the series awards
|1||Pakistan in Bangladesh||2014/15||334 runs with avg. 111.33. 4 ct. (2 Matches)||Pakistan won the series 1-0.|
Man of the Match awards
|S No||Series||Season||Match Performance||Result|
|1||3rd Test – England vs Pakistan in UAE Test Series||2011/12|| 1st Innings: 1 (14 balls)
2nd Innings: 157 (442 balls, 10x4, 1x6)
|Pakistan won by 71 runs.|
|2||3rd Test – Sri Lanka vs Pakistan in UAE Test Series||2013/14|| 1st Innings: 3-0-11-0 ; 1 ct. ; 8 (27 balls)
2nd Innings: 3 ct. ; 103 (137 balls, 6x4)
|Pakistan won by 5 wickets.|
|3||2nd Test – Pakistan in Bangladesh Test Series||2014/15|| 1st Innings: 226 (428 balls, 20x4, 2x6); 3 ct.
2nd Innings: 25 (38 balls, 4x4)
|Pakistan won by 328 runs.|
|4||1st Test – Pakistan vs West Indies in UAE Test Series||2016/17|| 1st Innings: 302* (469 balls, 23x4, 2x6); 1 ct.
2nd Innings: 2 (8 balls)
|Pakistan won by 56 runs|
One-Day International Cricket
Man of the series awards
|1||Zimbabwe in Pakistan||2014/15||227 runs with avg. of 75.66 (3 Matches)||Pakistan Won the series 2-0.|
Man of the Match awards
|S No||Opponent||Venue||Date||Match Performance||Result|
|1||Zimababwe||Gaddafi Stadium, Lahore||29 May 2015||102 (104 balls, 8×4); DNB||Pakistan won by 6 wickets.|
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