|Posted by anccricket on October 24, 2008 at 2:00 AM|
Full name Azhar Ali
Born February 19, 1985, Lahore, Punjab
Major teams Pakistan, Khan Research Laboratories, Lahore, Lahore Eagles, Lahore Lions, Pakistan A
Batting style Right-hand bat
Bowling style Legbreak
An opening batsman by trade, Azhar has worked his way steadily up Pakistan's domestic scene since 2006. That was the season he began opening regularly for Khan Research Laboratories, a move that fetched him two hundreds and two fifties in five matches, and he hasn't looked back. In four seasons since, he's been averaging 40-plus with 11 hundreds, commendable figures in a country where opening is a modern-day curse.
All of his runs have been made with a compact technique, designed to get behind the line of each ball. Observers say he gets into a tangle against the shorter ball often but his patience is key. On an A tour to Australia in 2009, he twice made five-hour 70s against an attack that included Doug Bollinger, Clint McKay and Jason Krejza. That series propelled him into senior team focus and a solid, if not spectacular 2009-10 season, coupled with a move to look beyond Younis Khan and Mohammad Yousuf, brought about a richly-deserved Test debut - in the middle order - at Lord's against Australia.