Pakistan cricket team has been in magnificent form in T20 cricket throughout the past year. They have created a world record of most wins in a calendar year in T20I cricket with 20 victories in 2021.
Pakistan has beaten the likes of South Africa, New Zealand, India, West Indies, and Bangladesh in the past year and also put on a strong showing in the recently concluded 2021 T20 World Cup.
While Pakistan has always been regarded as one of the best T20 sides in the world, they have struggled over the past few years to find a finisher in the lower order. The Men in Green have tried different players for the role over the past year. The likes of Khushdil Shah, Asif Ali, Danish Aziz, Azam Khan, and Iftikhar Ahmed have all been tried in the lower order while experienced players Fakhar Zaman and Mohammad Hafeez have also been demoted down the order to solve the issue of finding a finisher for Pakistan team.
Pakistan’s explosive middle-order batter, Asif Ali, once regarded as the answer to Pakistan’s lower-order issue had failed to impress in the early part of his international career. While Asif was the most prolific six-hitter in domestic cricket and PSL, he failed to replicate his form in international cricket. The six-hitting machine was given multiple opportunities in the Pakistan cricket team but he failed to capitalize on his chances and was ultimately dropped from the team.
Asif was recalled to the Pakistan squad for the 2021 T20 World Cup based on his six-hitting ability. While his inclusion caused a backlash from the cricketing fraternity in Pakistan, Asif proved his critics wrong by answering with his bat. Asif scored 27 runs off 12 balls in Pakistan’s tense chase against New Zealand and then followed it up with 25 runs off 7 balls in a high-octane clash against Afghanistan, winning both crucial encounters for Pakistan.
The 29-year old struck 21 runs off 7 balls in the third T20I against West Indies to finish off the game for his country once again. In the last three chases in T20I cricket for Pakistan, Asif has struck 73 runs off 26 balls including 9 sixes. Asif’s magnificent turnaround has finally solved the finisher role issue for Pakistan and he is now an integral part of the Men in Green’s T20 setup leading to the 2022 T20 World Cup in Australia.
Here are Asif Ali’s last three chases in T20Is:
|Pakistan vs New Zealand||27*||12||3||225.00|
|Pakistan vs Afghanistan||25*||7||4||357.14|
|Pakistan vs West Indies||21*||7||2||300|