Does Azhar Ali needs to reconsider ODI retirement?

Discussion in 'Cricket Talk' started by chandtara, Jul 11, 2019.

  1. chandtara
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    chandtara Mr Cricistan

    Jun 18, 2011
    37,883
    AZHAR Ali is Pakistan’s tragic hero. The man the team needs, but not the man the nation wants.

    People complain he is too slow. They say he is not fit for One-day Internationals. It could all well be true about him being not as aggressive as Fakhar Zaman — who plays at a strike rate close to 100 — but to say he is not fit to represent Pakistan in limited overs cricket is a rather weak argument, especially in Pakistani context.

    Pakistan’s World Cup campaign ended with a win over Bangladesh that could not help the Green Shirts edge New Zealand in terms of their net run-rate. As a result, Pakistan had to bow out, though not disgracefully; its 5th ranking is a reflection of its ability to regroup, considering its disastrous start against the West Indies. For a team that went into the tournament with 11 successive ODI losses, its final standing on the points table bodes well for the team.

    So, why suddenly are we talking about Azhar? He has, after all, bid adieu to ODIs and looks pleased with his Test form. If only we were to sit down and do some analysis on why the team fared the way it did in the World Cup, we would have identified the weak link: the absence of an innings-builder, a solid batsman in the line-up. That is why we are talking about Azhar.

    The problem is not specific to this team. It is endemic with the Pakistani style of batting — they lack temperament to stay on the crease and build their innings. Blame it on the madness of Twenty20 cricket in the country or on a weak domestic structure, the facts won’t change.

    Do we remember the Australia game? At one point, the match was Pakistan’s to lose and they did lose it. Some reckless shots and batsmen’s failure to perform under pressure bring to mind countless situations when we have buckled.

    Azhar played 53 one-dayers for Pakistan before announcing his retirement from the format. Though he said he wanted to focus on Tests, there were other factors, such as not being considered for selection despite consistently performing in the domestic and perceptions of being too slow for the format to name a few, that prompted the former Pakistan captain to call it quits.

    Post-Misbah-ul-Haq, Azhar was made the captain of the Pakistan side. A natural choice as he was being trained to lead while Misbah was still at the helm. Unfortunately, the team Pakistan could not perform well under his captaincy and as the saying goes in local context: “To captain Pakistan is one of the toughest jobs in the country, even more so than being the prime minister.”

    Subsequently, Azhar had to let go of his captaincy first and later his place in the side. Fast forward to 2019, Pakistan really have not done extraordinarily under a different captain — having managed to beat only minnows since the surprising victory in 2017 Champions Trophy. Failure to make it to knockouts in 2019 World Cup is not an impressive result either.

    Coming back to Azhar, the batsman has not really stopped playing limited overs altogether. He recently featured for Somerset in Royal London One-Day Cup and saw his side to victory with notable scores of 68, 110, 43, 46, 72, and 45 in 11 games. He also took seven wickets in total that included a five-wicket haul for 34 runs against Worcestershire. But it is the batting of Azhar that we are more interested in.

    In a recent interview to Press Trust of India, Azhar said Pakistan have found a reliable opening pair in Fakhar and Imam-ul-Haq and that he was content with his decision to have retired from one-dayers. With the experience and stability Azhar brings to the table, he is just the man Pakistan need to play on number three or four.

    Do we remember the India v England game? When the entire Pakistani nation prayed for an India win? It does not matter that India lost the game, and it does not matter what the conspiracy theorists say. The way Indian captain Virat Kohli and opening batsman Rohit Sharma rebuilt after losing KL Rahul early on has a lesson for Pakistani team. Kohli and Sharma knew their middle order is fragile and that they could not bank on good ol' slogger in MS Dhoni anymore, so they played with lot of maturity and grit. Their temperament to hang in there for as long as they could showed they understood their team’s strength and weaknesses.

    And then Dhoni and Ravinder Jadeja’s brilliant partnership in the semifinal against New Zealand was a similar display of maturity and grit where the two went about rebuilding the innings after India’s innings was in absolute tatters.

    Now, let’s put our own Mohammad Hafeez, Shoaib Malik or Sarfraz Ahmed in similar situations. When Hafeez tried to slog-sweep Aaron Finch in the Australia match, was he doing a favour to Pakistan? Or when Sarfraz tried to take that impossible second run against Afghanistan, did he know how important his presence on the wicket could be? Can we say ever say with confidence that the ‘senior’ lot in the team played with any responsibility that the situation demanded? Or can we claim they knew about their role and responsibility at the time?

    It would honestly be very hard to defend their actions. And that consolidates the argument in favour of a batsman with experience and temperament who could stick around long enough to see the team through a crisis and not become a part of the problem himself.

    If the 34-year-old Lahore-born could be convinced to reconsider his decision of retirement from limited-overs cricket, Pakistan will do well to fill in the missing link in the middle order and aim for better results in the next World Cup in India.

    https://www.dawn.com/news/1493268/comment-why-azhar-ali-needs-to-reconsider-odi-retirement
     
  2. Patriot
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    Patriot Kaptaan

    Oct 8, 2014
    25,207
  3. PakistanZindabad!
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    PakistanZindabad! Cornered Tiger

    Sep 29, 2012
    10,062
    He’s not just the man we need at 3 and 4, we have Babar and Haris


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  4. Shahzad.Firdous
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    Shahzad.Firdous Cornered Tiger

    May 29, 2010
    11,950
    Yes Definitely!! We need him for the opening slot than middle order. I would have him in place of slow, strange technique Imamul Haq and have a much more easy to eye opening partnership. At the moment, its way too mechanical at the moment with Imamulhaq at the top!!
     
  5. Gotham Cronie
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    Gotham Cronie Youngsta Beauty

    Jan 14, 2015
    211
    He's 34 years old and we have only have 6 ODIs scheduled over the next 15 months.

    3 vs Sri Lanka
    3 vs Netherlands
     
  6. iho
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    iho Smooth Operator

    Aug 7, 2010
    4,300
    No, its time to move forward.
     
  7. PakistanZindabad!
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    PakistanZindabad! Cornered Tiger

    Sep 29, 2012
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    I thought you wanted imam as captain


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  8. Shahzad.Firdous
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    Shahzad.Firdous Cornered Tiger

    May 29, 2010
    11,950
    I want Imam as Captain in test format. I dont want Imam playing odi cricket at all. He is a bit like Michael Atherton of England. Make him test captain and retire him from odi cricket. I think its too late for Azhar Ali, he already retired and is 34 so pick Abid Ali in place of Imamulhaq and Sharjeel in place of Fakhar in odis. Imam and Fakhar could open in test cricket but get them out of odi cricket. In t20s, you have ideal openers in Fakhar and Sharjeel!!
     
  9. Del
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    Del Cornered Tiger

    Dec 21, 2016
    10,977
    Its like taking 2 steps forward and 4 steps backward - so thanks but no thanks.

    Give Imam & Fakhar some more changes and whoever fails replace him with Abid or Shan. I am also hoping that Sharjeel will be back soon enough.
     
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  10. KingOfDoosra
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    KingOfDoosra Sultan of Swing

    Jun 8, 2012
    17,030
    Wow poor planning
     
  11. Savak
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    Savak Emerging Player

    Feb 26, 2013
    945
    Lol. Azhar Ali should retire from all formats. He is a useless limited player who got exposed brutally on the tour to South Africa when so much was expected of him being the senior batsman of the team
     
  12. Shaz130
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    Shaz130 Emerging Player

    Dec 29, 2016
    960
    Don’t know why these articles rate Azhar so much. Have they never played any cricket before?
     
  13. Mohammed Bilal
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    Mohammed Bilal Tracer Bullet

    Jul 17, 2017
    6,982
    Azhar could have been there for the world cup but not now. Time to move fowards. Not a fan of Imam but he has lots of runs In his short career. He has to start performing against better opposition. TBH Azhar also is mediocre against good bowling and I'd never replace Fakhar simply because he's a player you need at the top.
     
  14. s_h_a_f
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    s_h_a_f Tracer Bullet

    Dec 26, 2011
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  15. Del
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    Del Cornered Tiger

    Dec 21, 2016
    10,977
    There are many journalists who's are friends with many cricketers, therefore these type of articles come to fore.
     
  16. Shaz130
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    Shaz130 Emerging Player

    Dec 29, 2016
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    Politics outside of cricket so dumb.
     
  17. Sultan Yusuf
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    Sultan Yusuf Talented

    Sep 1, 2010
    1,090
    Azhar Ali should have retired from all forms after the shambolic series VS SA. Never seen a pak batsman so exposed against the short ball. Considering how poor we are against bounce, that’s an achievement in itself.

    I watched one of his innings for Somerset - looked good until.......Fidel Edwards bounced him out (surprise surprise). If was a carbon copy of his dismissals vs Olivier.

    Nice guy, wish him the best, he’s played some good innings over the years but his time is up.
     
  18. Bilal123
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    Bilal123 Tracer Bullet

    Dec 11, 2010
    6,591
    This ship has sailed.

    Its even had a titanic like sinking back in 2016
     
  19. Mohammed Bilal
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    Mohammed Bilal Tracer Bullet

    Jul 17, 2017
    6,982
    Short ball is actually a length you should be scoring runs on. Lol even Neil Wagner at 130 kph on dead UAE wickets was played dodgy. They kept leaving it. The ball was hardly bouncing, basically going to the keeper as if it was a good length delivery. It was so embarrassing to watch.
     

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