Stories about Azhar Ali

After South Africa’s thrashing, it’s evident that Pakistan’s Test team needs a major reshuffle

Pakistan last played a Test series against South Africa in 2013 and lost 3-0. Five and a half years later, nothing seems to have changed. Another series defeat, another series full of poor planning. When will the Pakistani management learn? Winning series in the UAE against the likes of Sri Lanka and Australia isn’t the most difficult feat to achieve. For me, the biggest test of a team’s competence is playing away from home in tough conditions. And South African conditions are exactly that. The toughest place for Asian teams to play is generally England and South Africa. Ironically, these ...

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Why the Pakistan cricket team deserves Mickey Arthur’s wrath

The cracks within the Test unit had started surfacing a while ago, with a disappointing loss in the Test series against New Zealand at home. Turbulence was felt by those up in the ranks, and yet everyone stayed silent. However, a humiliating defeat in the first Test against South Africa penetrated all the cracks in the Test squad and caused Mickey Arthur to experience a meltdown inside the dressing room. Arthur is well within his domain to criticise senior players who are neither performing nor learning from their mistakes. Pakistan had a golden opportunity – as it sat comfortably at 101 ...

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Men in Green vs Mighty Australia: Has Pakistan selected the best team for the job?

How do we even assess the embarrassing performance exhibited by Pakistan at the 2018 Asia Cup? If we briefly sum it up, we can definitely detect complacency, lack of mental durability and a mismanagement of human resources. Now, after its heart-wrenching exit from the event, Pakistan cricket’s next adventure is a two-match Test series against Australia, which starts tomorrow.  The Inzamamul Haq-led selection committee has announced a 17-member squad to face the team that ranks third in Test rankings. However, it seems the selection committee hasn’t learned from past mistakes and has picked players that are either inexperienced or unsuitable ...

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How the men in green fared in the memorable #PakvsEng

In the first Test at Lords, Pakistan did to England what Pakistan does best – surprise everyone when they expect it the least. I’ll make a confession, I was hopeful for Pakistan to perform but not confident enough to wake up so early and sacrifice my sleep over it, since the match started at 6am in New York. When I woke up, England was four down for a little over 100 runs. Then, Mohammad Amir ran in and got Alastair Cook bowled with a move that only Amir could have pulled off. From that moment onwards, I was glued to the ...

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Four focal factors that led to the fall of the Qalandar empire

Pakistan Super League (PSL) is in full swing these days. From great catches to scintillating finishes, PSL fans have experienced it all. So far, we have seen two extremes of consistency in the tournament. On one hand, Quetta Gladiators have shown their rising graph of good performances, while on the flip side, we are seeing consistent dismal performance from Lahore Qalandars. From the best captain to a strong support staff, the Qalandars have got all the ingredients required to get better results, but somehow things have not been going well for them right from season one. Lahore Qalandars in every ...

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#PAKvsNZ: 3 reasons why the Kiwis whitewashed the Men in Green with ease

When Pakistan first stepped onto Kiwi shores, the probability of a fairly close contest was higher than Pakistan’s previous tours, but as things panned out, that was not the case. While the series defeat was not necessarily a bolt out of the blue, the more startling aspect was the enormous regression of the state of our team. By the time Pakistan looked towards getting a win in the series – they came close in the last two ODIs – it was too late as New Zealand already had an unassailable lead in the series. New Zealand pose with the series trophy, 5th ODI, ...

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5 observations from #PAKvsNZ which prove the men in green need to get their act together

The much-awaited series for Pakistani cricket fans kicked off on January 6th, with the first match of the ODI series played at Basin Reserve, Wellington. The hype for the series was as expected since our players had been out of international competitive cricket for over two months. For the Kiwis, however, it was sort of a sudden jump from their match against West Indies, which was a walk in the park for them. Now, they were up against the team that was on a roll in shorter format of cricket as was seen from Pakistan’s victory in the Champions Trophy and their ...

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#PakvsNZ is an entirely different and difficult test for the men in green – Is Pakistan prepared for the challenge that awaits?

Let’s face it, most of us, including me, don’t like getting up early in the morning, but one thing that made me sacrifice my sleep and get out of my warm, cosy bed in winter in the wee hours of the night was cricket, when Pakistan was away on tour to the Trans-Tasman region. Waking up in the middle of the night can be a tad bit difficult but watching Pakistan win is surely worth it. More accustomed to playing on the dead pitches in the subcontinent, Pakistani cricket team’s trip to New Zealand poses an entirely different test altogether. ...

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These 10 cricketers from the National T20 Cup are the reason why the future of Pakistan cricket excites me

It is that time of year again, the National T20 Cup. Every year, the tournament generally produces a few potential future international cricketers. Past names include Mukhtar Ahmed, Nauman Anwar, Raza Hasan and Haris Sohail. And I’m relatively sure that this tournament will discover a few too. As the national T20 commences, I look at the top 10 players to watch out for during the tournament: 1. Sahibzada Farhan Born in Charsadda, Sahibzada’s breakout tournament was in early 2016 where he was called in as a late replacement for Azhar Ali. Throughout the tournament, he put up consistent scores, however, it ...

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#PakvsSL: Pakistan has won 5/8 ODI matches so far, but it must not be complacent yet

Pakistan picked up from where they left in the first ODI against Sri Lanka after a triumphant International Cricket Council (ICC) Champions Trophy campaign. The men in green were clinical in all departments of the game as they strode towards a convincing win at the ‘Ring of Fire’ in Dubai. Pakistan’s commanding display in the first of a five-match ODI series was just the kind of response that Sarfraz Ahmed would have hoped from his side, after being whitewashed in the Test series at the hands of the Lankan side. Before the second ODI, it is apt to take a look ...

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