Pakistan onslaught with No. 3 conundrum

Pakistan onslaught with No. 3 conundrum


Mohammad Hafeez trudges behind to a pavilion after a low score, Zimbabwe v Pakistan, 1st Test, Harare, 1st day, Sep 3, 2013

Pakistan handed debuts to 8 players in 2013, yet a batting choice between No. 3 and No. 6 remained constant, until Azhar Ali was forsaken for Mohammad Hafeez in a Abu Dhabi Test. The pierce lifted questions on Pakistan’s long-term formulation that directed to concede youngsters to settle and settle themselves in a Test group in a prolonged run.

Azhar done a entrance for Pakistan in 2010 and has given been deliberate an involuntary selection. He has brought fortitude to a tip order, scoring 2081 runs during 38.53 and has turn constituent during a No 3 position in new years. Though he gifted a dump in form in 2013 – he scored 270 runs in 7 matches during an normal of 19.28 with dual fifties – a performances could be put down to Pakistan’s strange Test schedule.

In Abu Dhabi, Azhar was forsaken in foster of Hafeez, who was also axed from a Test group in 2013 for his bad form. In 5 Tests, before Abu Dhabi, in 2013, Hafeez scored 102 runs during an normal of 10.2. After 3 Tests during a start of a year opposite South Africa, Hafeez did not play a Test until a Zimbabwe debate in September. He was left out of a Tests opposite South Africa, and afterwards came behind for a compare opposite Sri Lanka in December.

Hafeez’s form in limited-overs, though, was most better, as he scored 1301 runs in 33 ODIs during 46.46 with 5 hundreds and 4 fifties in a same period. It was this form that hermetic his place in a XI for Abu Dhabi, even yet his form and technique in a longer format have been underneath a scanner for a while. On his third quip to Test cricket, Hafeez scored 11 off 18 balls.

Azhar on a other hand, prepared for a Test array with dual first-class hundreds. But Hafeez’s preference means that a No. 3 mark in a Pakistan choice is unexpected uncertain, even as a side tries to find a staid multiple for a openers’ slot, that has been in transition given Saeed Anwar and Aamir Sohail retired.

A severe patch is an unavoidable partial of a cricketer’s career. Younis Khan, Pakistan’s former No. 3, also suffered identical waste in form before settling down to turn one of Pakistan’s top run-getters. Similarly, Azhar, who averaged 45 until 2012, also needs to be supported. Among a stream stand of Pakistan players, Azhar is also seen as a destiny captain.

“Azhar brought a fortitude during a No.3 position,” Basit Ali, Azhar’s manager during his domestic group Sui National Gas and Pipelines Ltd, told ESPNcricinfo. “It was unequivocally an astray call to dump him for a batsman who was meant to bat in a opening slot. It’s a really critical position, we need to have someone like Azhar – who have been grown to play a purpose for a specialised position.

“I have concerns that he was forsaken from a place for that he has been an involuntary option. He has turn an critical actor in a final 3 years and dropping him from a XI doesn’t make clarity to me. Playing Hafeez during No. 3 is temporary, yet dropping Azhar during this theatre competence disquiet him as he is a destiny awaiting and is here to stay for long.”

Before a Test, Hafeez had rued a prolonged gaps between Tests and certified he had a technique-related emanate opposite pitch bowling. “We always have been ruing a miss of Test cricket and a six-month gaps between array are also creation it formidable for players to say momentum,” Hafeez said. “For me, it was a matter of not scoring runs in a format and, in fact, it’s some-more than a technique thing for that we have worked so hard. we went on examining my videos to found because we have been struggling opposite pitch bowling.”

Hafeez’s form might be peaking by a limited-overs run, yet his spirit and technique in Tests have been challenged on several occasions. Age is also something he needs to cause in. Hafeez is 33, 5 years comparison than Azhar and a latter maybe has a lot some-more to offer to Pakistan cricket in a prolonged run.

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