Pakistan batting is not something that has been known to have churned out consistent performances, at least not in the last two decades. However, their batting efforts have been nothing short of amazing even since the series against Australia began last month. Their top and middle order has been in sensational form, as they first got the better of Australia with ease, and now look set to overcome the New Zealanders as well comfortably in the first Test Abu Dhabi. Here’s a look at how Pakistan’s batsmen have outshone their opponents.
Younis Khan: He was the one who began the turnaround for Pakistan. When the Australia series began, Khan’s place in the team was himself under a cloud since he had just been dropped from the one-day team, and was involved in a bitter war of words with the PCB. But, what a stunning turnaround it has been for Khan ever since being sacked from the one-day team. He made 106 and 103 not out in the first Test against Australia at Dubai. Khan continued his great form with 213 and 46 in the second Test at Abu Dhabi as Pakistan registered another convincing win. Khan’s fourth Test hundred in five knocks came in the first innings of the ongoing Test against New Zealand at Abu Dhabi.
Misbah-Ul-Haq: Theresurrection of Misbah has not been too dissimilar to that of Khan. He even dropped himself voluntarily from the side during the one-day series against Australia as he was struggling. But, he has turned things around rather brilliantly. Misbah began with a dogged 69 in the Dubai Test against Australia. He followed it up with twin centuries – 101 and 101 not out in the Abu Dhabi Test. Misbah continued his wonderful run in the first innings of the opening Test against New Zealand as well, registering an unbeaten 102 at Abu Dhabi.
Ahmed Shehzad: The Pakistan opener made only three in the first Test against Australia, but followed it up with a dazzling 131 in the second innings of the Test. He got starts in the next game but couldn’t convert his starts. Then against New Zealand at Abu Dhabi, he got his act together wonderfully well. His 176 from 371 balls was a painstaking knock. He never looked like getting out, and was eventually dismissed in a bizarre manner, getting hit-wicket off a short ball, also injuring himself in the process, as a result of which he won’t take any further part in the Test series.
Azhar Ali: Pakistan’s number three, almost unknowingly, has become among the team’s most consistent batsmen. His recent form also points to the same. After making 53 and 30 in the first Test against Australia, he followed it up with hundreds in each innings in the next match – 109 and 100 not out. He narrowly missed out on a third ton in a row as he was dismissed for Australia’s unlucky score of 87 in the first innings of the ongoing Test against the New Zealanders.
--By A Cricket Analyst