For the best part of the aughties, from 2002 to 2010, the Pakistani hitting against Australia was a long and endless history of misery. There were moments, like the MCG of Mohammad Yousuf, 83 of Faisal Iqbal in Colombo, the twins of Hasan Raza in Sharjah and the Australian hundreds of Salman Butt. Otherwise, the thinnest of choices and the failures of men like Inzamam-ul-Haq and Yousuf (apart from those hundred) has been the most marked emblem of an era of Australian domination. Australia is mainly disorienting, because it is the first Pakistani hitter in a generation or more to really dominate. He does not feel that way because of the relatively quiet style of his game. It is not a Sehwag or a KP that destroys them.
However, of all the Pakistani hitters who have played at least eight Tests against Australia, no one averages more than Azhar's 61.35. A good test in Abu Dhabi, and Azhar could be 1000 races, only in his ninth test against them.
Except that a good test is not guaranteed at this time. It's not like Azhar is in bad shape. It's just that is not in the stellar form he was in until 2016 and 2017. In 12 innings since last year, when he became the team's best hitter, he's three-fifties. It's not great, but he never looked so out of shape to be considered in crisis.
In Dubai, however, he fought, especially in those first innings, where an 18 ball of 18 balls reminded Azhar in 2010. instead of the more fluid 2016 version.
"At these windows, you have to take the time," Azhar said in Abu Dhabi, before the second test that begins on Tuesday. "With the hard ball, you can still score, but as soon as the ball becomes soft, it becomes difficult, especially when there are wicket-a-wicket bowling, you must show more patience.
" The key to hitting will be patient and look for opportunities to score and try to absorb the pressure. It is the key even when facing the new ball or batting at any time of the day. "
Not helping will be the uncertainty about his position, something that has persisted in all the series he has played since 2016, when he became In a semi-permanent test opener, this past year, he has batted in third place in a series, opened for a series and was scheduled to hit three again in this series, but the fractured finger of Imam-ul-Haq Azhar is back in the race to open with Mohammad Hafeez.
Pakistan could choose to give Fakhar Zaman a trial debut, but in either of the two scenarios, Azhar will be ready and he probably will not care much where Play these opponents, he had hundreds of twins in Abu Dhabi against these opponents four years ago, all at once, and in Australia in 2016-17 he scored great careers as a starter, including a double of MCG. " While playing for Pakistan, one has to be prepared for everything. I've always believed in that, and whatever the team management decides or whatever the captain decides, I'll be ready to do it.
"The important thing is to stay focused and try and believe that once you get a good blow behind you, things will start rolling again.
" Any international team will try to read you, but it's your job to counter the plans that they established for you I do not think they have planned anything that is special. They bowled according to the conditions and that's how you play in these windows.
"I've worked hard and I think it's a question of a single entry, if I can score a lot, everything will fall into place." 19659013]