Former Pakistan captain Azhar Ali has hit great form during his recent country spree following the England tour debacle. He is now being feared by the Australian bowling attack for his resilient and solid brand of cricket.
Ahead of Pakistan’s two-match series with Australia in its own fort of UAE, the visiting side is already planning to cope with Azhar threat.
In an interview with cricket.com.au, Mitchell Starc and Peter Siddle singled out the right-arm opening batsmen as the ‘price wicket.’
I think someone like Azhar Ali, who scored a fair few runs against us in Australia last time they were here, he’d be a big one at the top of the order for them.
The Australian pace pair identifies Azhar Ali as the hosts’ key man for the upcoming Test series in the UAE, saying that he is a ‘run-machine’ and can cause trouble if not taken out early.
Siddle talking to cricket.com.au said:
The key wicket for them is always going to be Azhar Ali. He’s one of the leaders in that side now.
The Australians have every right to be concerned as Azhar Ali managed an average of close to 70 against them in 7 Tests. He has also scored three crucial centuries which changed the course of the series in favor of Pakistan.
The diminutive opener scored a blistering, unbeaten double ton in 2016-17 when the two sides met in Australia. During the tour, his scores were 5, 71, 205 not-out, 43, 71 and 11. The 33-year-old was the leading run-scorer for the visitors and second only to Steve Smith from either side.
The two sides will meet for the first Test in Dubai from October 7 and then in Abu Dhabi for the second one from October 16.