Azhar Ali and Asad Shafiq, did we back the wrong horses?

Discussion in 'Cricket Talk' started by Del, May 17, 2018.

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  1. Ahson8
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    Ahson8 Sultan of Swing

    Jun 9, 2012
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    Nobody said that.

    So because he has a poor 4th inns ave, he is a poor player in general ? He has a test 200 in Australia, and the second highest test score for a PAK batsman.

    Your leggie turned batsman makes no sense bevause lots of bowlers convert to batting and do well (and vice versa)
     
  2. Del
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    Del Whispering Death

    Dec 21, 2016
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    Read my all the posts again, you might be able to understand what I have said. All I said that he's a very limited player. Due to which, he should not be criticized? If yes, then no one should be criticized if they have a glaring weakness.

    Other than Smith, who is completely at different level, how many have successfully transitioned into a successful batsman?
     
    Last edited: May 18, 2018
  3. ASLI-PATHAN
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    ASLI-PATHAN Cricistan Khan

    Apr 26, 2011
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    Oh bhai chill and don't curse in Ramadan.

    Azhar is the best Test batsman in this team, there is no doubt about this.
     
  4. Sultan Yusuf
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    Sultan Yusuf Emerging Player

    Sep 1, 2010
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    Exactly - that is what he is. What is wrong with pointing it out?
     
  5. Sultan Yusuf
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    Sultan Yusuf Emerging Player

    Sep 1, 2010
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    The main problem with Azhar is that he has zero impact. He may occupy the crease and rack up the runs, but it doesn’t discourage the opposition. They still feel in control of the game despite Azhar being on 100+
     
  6. Del
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    Del Whispering Death

    Dec 21, 2016
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    My point it very simple. Even a 10 years old who has some cricket acumen know how limited Azhar is. And that all I said that he's a very limited player. Due to which, he should not be criticized?
     
  7. Del
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    Del Whispering Death

    Dec 21, 2016
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    I said it many times ago and will say it again, if you watch players like Smith then without watching scoreboard you can say that the guy is playing at 40/80/120. For mr. goody good this is not the case. I always struggle to find out his score and Pakistan's score, because he bats the same way, doesnt matter if he's playing on 2/20/120/200/1200.
     
  8. Prince Pathan
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    Prince Pathan Sultan of Swing

    Aug 31, 2011
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    Limited cricketers from Pakistan do not make daddy hundreds against the likes of England and Australia


    He is our best Test batsman hands down
     
  9. Don Quixote
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    Don Quixote Whispering Death

    Nov 13, 2015
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    Investments could have better, if we had invested in Haris, Fawad and Salahuddin at that time, but still Azhar has been decent to good for us, our best Test batsman currently. Asad Shafiq has been ok to decent, inferior to Azhar Ali. Both aren't world class though.
     
  10. Prince Pathan
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    Prince Pathan Sultan of Swing

    Aug 31, 2011
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  11. s_h_a_f
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    s_h_a_f Tracer Bullet

    Dec 26, 2011
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    Azhar bhai slapped anda on your face lol
     
  12. Mohammed Bilal
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    Mohammed Bilal Tracer Bullet

    Jul 17, 2017
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    Yeh, cheers.
     
  13. Del
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    Del Whispering Death

    Dec 21, 2016
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    Once again, 2 runs on 29 balls - Mashallah.

    Once again his inability come to fore that he is incapable to make runs on new, hard ball. Will always wait for ball to get older to make runs.

    This strategy doesn't work all the time, specially when you're not in UAE.
     
  14. MecnunK
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    MecnunK Youngsta Beauty

    Oct 21, 2015
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    Neither has what it takes (although I used to think Asad had it in him to improve and settle down) but perhaps this is literally a case of no real better choices.
     
  15. Del
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    Del Whispering Death

    Dec 21, 2016
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    To me its a moot point, because one will always wonder why such a heavy investment was done, specially on Azhar (who is very limited to begin with), whilst completely ignoring players like Fawad, Amin and Harris.

    Asad is some what better, but his issue is consistency and lack of temperament. Also, in most of his carrier he's played at no.6, but still not a good player to play with a fragile tail. Countless times I saw him exposing tail or once 2nd new ball is taken, throwing away his wicket, when his team desperately needs him. Yes I know he played a good innings in AUS, but still PAK lost that game, and to me end result matters the most. Even if had made 350 in that innings, I wouldn't have looked into it too much, because at the end of the we lost the game.

    Because I hate this defeatist attitude of losing with respect.
     
  16. Sultan Yusuf
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    Sultan Yusuf Emerging Player

    Sep 1, 2010
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    I have had enough of these two - esp Azhar. You can’t score every innings, but at least once in a while stand up and be counted.

    Azhar brings the whole line up down with him with such a nervy start up front
     
  17. Sultan Yusuf
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    Sultan Yusuf Emerging Player

    Sep 1, 2010
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    Azhar fails again. Disgraceful tour for him.
     
  18. Energy
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    Energy Whispering Death

    Apr 22, 2012
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    Shite tour as always for Asad Shafiq. Can't believe when was the last time I saw him score anything of note. Sarfaraz's wing man, gets picked for Quetta PSL also. No performance whatsoever.
     
  19. godzilla
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    godzilla Talented

    May 12, 2016
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    But apparently Alam would be nicking off all the time
     
  20. Mohsin
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    Mohsin Cornered Tiger

    Feb 21, 2010
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    You are forcing Azhar to open...he is not an opener. Not going to blame him for his rubbish tour.

    Shafiq has been useless as. Brings no confidence to the side, like a senior batsman should. You just know his wicket his around the corner.
     
  21. iZeeshan
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    iZeeshan Tracer Bullet

    May 22, 2012
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    100% - both are mental midgets and rarely score when it matters. Azhar slightly better than Asad.

    Don't agree with you on Azhar - I think he wants to open because there are plenty of openers in the side. Why are they not being played? Also Azhar comes in early anyway, might as well open. He's just not good enough.
     
  22. Energy
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    Energy Whispering Death

    Apr 22, 2012
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    Asad Shafiq with the bat makes the opposition feel confident about their existence.
     
  23. Mohsin
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    Mohsin Cornered Tiger

    Feb 21, 2010
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    Guy scored a double in Melbourne, a triple vs West Indies and has average 48 over the last 2 years. How exactly is he not good enough?

    Our best test bat by far.
     
  24. iZeeshan
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    iZeeshan Tracer Bullet

    May 22, 2012
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    Calling him our best test bat is not really saying much. I agree he is our best test bat but what did he do in this series? Score one 50? That's what you want from your best batsman? Come on man, I don't know if dropping him is the right decision but you don't think we're better off investing in a new talent maybe? I'm just asking questions.

    Triple vs West Indies lol. On a flat track.
     
  25. ASLI-PATHAN
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    ASLI-PATHAN Cricistan Khan

    Apr 26, 2011
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    Who scores a triple on a green pitch?

    Triple ton on any surface is a monumental effort. It requires temperament, stamina and dedication.
     
  26. iZeeshan
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    iZeeshan Tracer Bullet

    May 22, 2012
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    Sure, that's fair. But this was a miserable failure on his part. Surely there's some consideration required? Especially the way he's getting out.
     
  27. ASLI-PATHAN
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    ASLI-PATHAN Cricistan Khan

    Apr 26, 2011
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    Agree his performances are absolutely bad in this series but he is our best test batsman and we should be patient with him. I am sure he will bounce back.
     
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  28. chandtara
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    chandtara Mr Cricistan

    Jun 18, 2011
    37,030
    Azhar Ali and Asad Shafiq dip when Pakistan need them most

    Pakistan were minus 16 for four when they joined each other in the middle. It was the first over after tea on the third day and Abu Dhabi was muggy, with heavy cloud overhead. Misbah-ul-Haq had just been dismissed and though his hero years were actually just beginning, Pakistan were twitching around looking for any new heroes.

    It was only the third time they had batted together and in the two innings before then had put on a total of four runs together. One was in his 20th Test, the other in his 12th. One was the guy who had sweated himself into a batsman; the other, the guy who came into this world wearing a box instead of an umbilical cord.

    In opposition was the world's No. 1 Test team, in a brief moment in time when it meant something. England were good and their attack, for that series, was perfect - two good pacemen on the way to becoming a great pair, plus Monty Panesar and Graeme Swann. Three-quarters of this attack would win England a series in India later in the year.

    It was a proper tiptoe through fire, a life lesson masquerading as a batting partnership. Panesar was in a late-career peak, out-bowling Swann, who wasn't bowling badly to begin with. There were close calls and lovely shots, taut defence and the drama of an occasional review, and a missed run-out chance less than halfway into the stand (thanks KP).

    They never looked in absolute control of their fate, but it was never out of their hands either. That's what made the stand, the idea that it could end at any moment, but also that it if it didn't it could be game-changing. Tightrope stuff, life one side, death the other - Pakistan wouldn't have it any other way.

    It took its time. "In such a situation you have to back your strengths," one of them would say years later. "If you are the sort of player who counterattacks then you do that. Others look to tire out the bowlers. Our strength at the time was to bat like this. [He] is a strokemaker, but that wasn't the sort of wicket where you could play freely, so we thought the correct approach was to absorb pressure."

    A reader on ESPNcricinfo's ball-by-ball commentary said they wished Pakistan had an opener like Virender Sehwag because the lead would have been long gone however long he batted. It was an early example of the refrain that would hound the team right until they became number one, and even that was not enough for many to drop it.

    They took Pakistan from minus 16 to plus 72, which is no daddy partnership. But in actual terms Azhar Ali and Asad Shafiq took them across the border from Nobody's Pakistan to Misbah's Pakistan.

    When he was walking back at Headingley today, having played a shot that made sense like life makes sense (it doesn't really), Azhar air-played the shot he should've played. Straighter, not trying to clip the straight ball somewhere between mid-on and midwicket - straight, like he was driving in Australia at the end of 2016.

    When Shafiq walked back after being dismissed, strangled down the legside, nobody really noticed what he was doing. It's never important with Shafiq because he's not one of life's great emoters. This wasn't a poor shot per se, but a poor dismissal, an intensely irritating one in the way a nagging fly on a sweaty day is irritating. There's no need for it and you'd rather wish it dead.

    The dismissals were part of a tapestry of horror dismissals, as if the discipline they had shown at Lord's had not only become a distant memory, but a trick of it: did it really exist?

    You can't put the rest of the dismissals at the feet of Azhar and Shafiq. Batsmen, over everyone else, take responsibility for their own downfalls. Misbah and Younis Khan were hardly averse, over long careers, to poor or ill-timed dismissals. And they were themselves part of plenty of batting blowouts together.

    But when they were at the crease together, Pakistan somehow felt more tied together, even if on the bad batting days of their era it could turn out to be a fleeting illusion. Heck, together they presented such a well-defined identity at the crease, if we'd given them enough time they might have carved out an entirely separate country (and yes, Younis would've seceded eventually). As circumstance would have it, in the process they mentored others, lead among them Azhar and Shafiq.

    Both were leaders just that Younis, it turned out, was leader best not as captain. He wasn't a straightforward man, but such was the force of his commitment to success, others had no choice but to be taken along. Misbah was a leader through and through, just not the kind anyone in Pakistan had been used to. Once they figured it out, he grew in aura, in stature, in performance, in result, and, most importantly, in impact.

    [​IMG]
    ESPNcricinfo Ltd

    This, as much as runs, is what Azhar and Shafiq need to bring to this batting order, the unmistakable sense that they are in charge and that they will be there when it matters and when it doesn't.

    It won't be easy. Azhar already bears the wounds of captaincy. Ridiculously, 65 Tests into his career, there's still doubt over whether he is - and Pakistan are - best served by opening or coming one-down. It doesn't make too much of a difference with Pakistan's openers, you might snigger, but to him it can't not.

    If Shafiq knows where the limelight is, it is only because he seems to know exactly how not to be in it. Whether that is behind the big guns at No. 6, or in crafting pleasant hundreds in non-winning games that nobody tallies, his career has played out a little on the periphery. It's not a poor career by any means, but the vitality, the urgency, is absent.

    Together, but not necessarily as a pair yet, they have dipped at just the time Pakistan needs them to stand up most. They were both important at Lord's, but Shafiq is averaging 37.44 in nine innings post-MisYou and Azhar just 23.40 in 10. And they've only batted together three times in five Tests. These aren't big samples, which is part of the problem.

    Pakistan's Test itinerary tends to have long empty periods followed by sudden bursts of activity and for two players who are more or less Test specialists, that hurts. Having not played an international game since October last year before they arrived in Ireland, Azhar and Shafiq will likely not play an international game till October again, which is when Pakistan's next Test is scheduled. How to become the leaders of a batting order brimming with potential when you're not actually there? Even MisYou couldn't pull that trick.

    The mind goes back to another partnership, the one Misbah thought most important to his career. He had batted together with Younis before, but only seven times in eight years, so when they joined each other in the middle in Dubai, with a Test to save, they were strangers.

    They batted out the day, in the process of a 186-run stand getting to know each other's ways and moves, and understanding perhaps some of the chemistry between them. It was also the day they established themselves unequivocally as leaders of the side.

    Azhar and Shafiq are at an advantage. They know each other well already. They average nearly 54 in partnership over 21 innings. They've already been through one bond-forging partnership, the one that took Pakistan into a new era. That one's done now and a new one emerging. It will need Azhar and Shafiq taking them through again.

    http://tv5.espn.com/cricket/story/_/id/23687001/azhar-ali-asad-shafiq-dip-pakistan-need-most
     
  29. Don Quixote
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    Don Quixote Whispering Death

    Nov 13, 2015
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    This has to be the worst batting line up in our history?
     
  30. Patriot
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    Patriot Boom Boom

    Oct 8, 2014
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    2010 tour we had the worst batting line up in our history
     
  31. Del
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    Del Whispering Death

    Dec 21, 2016
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    And results back this claim too.

    However, it doesn't go without say that both Azhar and Asad had a horrendous tour.

    Usually its the junior who's body language is down and feeling pressure, however, on this tour, it was totally opposite.

    Maybe both needs to go back to their positions (no.3 and 6), because they cant handle the responsibility and pressure of being senior players.
     
  32. godzilla
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    godzilla Talented

    May 12, 2016
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    if they cant stand up at this point and after this many opportunities, perhaps its worth dispensing with the seniors altogether.

    although that excellent article does highlight something beyond their control, namely that in a full year, from end 2017 to oct 2018, they would have only played these three tests - thats a pcb issue.
     
  33. Mohammed Bilal
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    Mohammed Bilal Tracer Bullet

    Jul 17, 2017
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    These two (Ajju and Feeqa) are in talks with Surrey and Somerset for replacements of Matty Renshaw and Virat Kohli.


    Shows you guys that they are good.

    Imagine that though, I can’t remember correctly but I think Younis was the last batsman from Pakistan that played county cricket in division one.
     
  34. Patriot
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    Patriot Boom Boom

    Oct 8, 2014
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    Can’t argue there. Both are now responsible for carrying the young batters like how these two were carried at times by Younis and Misbah
     
  35. iho
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    iho Smooth Operator

    Aug 7, 2010
    4,164
    English commies were full of praise for the technique shown by Asad Shafiq on the moving wickets. At the end of the series none of the English batters were able to score centuries. This series was the series for bowlers.
     
  36. Del
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    Del Whispering Death

    Dec 21, 2016
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    I really wish that 'technique' could've win more games for Pakistan. Not talking about this series, but making a point in general.

    Yes this series was for bowlers, that's why Man of the Series was Mohammad Abbas, but what else do you expect in ENG in early summer?
     
  37. Mohsin
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    Mohsin Cornered Tiger

    Feb 21, 2010
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    Tbh Asad doesnt care what any of y'all think...

    [​IMG]
     
  38. thair9999
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    thair9999 Youngsta Beauty

    Oct 17, 2010
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    Azhar should not open, and Asad should get a break.
     
  39. SOPL
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    SOPL Talented

    Jun 4, 2013
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    I went to watch the first day at Headingley and it is hard to deny how classy Shafiq looks in profile.

    That cover drive was sublime.
     
  40. Energy
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    Energy Whispering Death

    Apr 22, 2012
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    Welcome back!
     

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