19 February 1985 |
|Batting style||Right-hand bat|
|Test debut (cap 199)||13 July 2010 v Australia|
|Last Test||23–26 October 2013 v South Africa|
|ODI debut (cap 185)||30 May 2011 v Ireland|
|Last ODI||3 January 2013 v India|
|Domestic team information|
|Source: Cricinfo, 10 December 2013|
Azhar Ali (Urdu: اظہر علی; born 19 February 1985 in Lahore, Punjab) is a Pakistani international cricketer. He made his Test debut for Pakistan against Australia in the first Test at Lord's in July 2010. He is a right-hand batsman and an occasional leg-break bowler who has played for Lahore, Lahore Blues, Lahore Whites, Abbottabad, Khan Research Laboratories, Punjab and Huntly (Scotland) during his career. Azhar Ali is known for his temperament and concentration during batting in tests. He is technically sound who works hard for his runs, and is a fine test batsmen in the current Pakistan team.
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 was on 62* at Stumps registering his sixth half-century in the process.
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.
- Azhar Ali player profile, Cricinfo
- Azhar Ali player profile, CricketArchive
- Ali, Shafiq selected for NZ Tour Yousuf Dropped
- "Awful Pakistan Crash once again". Cricket.Org.PK. Retrieved 17 June 2012.
- "Rain and Azhar Ali make the highlights on 2nd Day". Cricket.Org.PK. Retrieved 1 July 2012.
- "Azhar Ali makes into Top-10 in ICC rankings". Cricket.Org.PK. Retrieved 12 July 2012.