Sami Chaudhry’s column: Azhar Ali has to come out of the shadow of Misbah!

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Some wise man said that only bushes grow under the shade of big trees. If you want to be a strong tree, you have to make your own shade instead of growing under someone’s shade.

Is Azhar Ali also moving towards becoming a thriving bush under the shadow of Misbah.


After the defeat of the series, Azhar Ali said that the poor performance of only one session in the first Test match took the series out of his reach.

It was the same session where Chris Vokes and Butler put on a sixth-wicket partnership and pulled the match out of Pakistan’s mouth.

It remains to be seen what “bad game” Azhar Ali’s team played in this session and what strategic tactics were left that raised questions about Azhar Ali’s leadership skills.


At first, Azhar Ali’s planning turned out to be flawed in the case of Chris Vokes. On English wickets, seamers usually target the full length so that the

batsman can try to drive and make a miscalculation in measuring the seam movement of the ball and the slip fielders show their work.

But the mistake of Azhar Ali’s attack here was that he was tempted to give full length to a batsman like Vokes even with the old ball, which proved to be

useless with the broken bean of the old ball.

Secondly, the mood of the wicket in this session had suddenly become such that life became easier for the batsmen.

Azhar Ali has to come out of the shadow of Misbah in Pakistani Cricket Team.

In such a situation, the fielding captain's first priority should be to block clear runs, while bowlers should consider pushing the batsman into the crease instead of taking wickets, which can create a balance in the game.

Here both aspects look very weak. Azhar Ali was seen trying to take wickets by spreading the field while the bowlers were seen constantly scoring runs just to take wickets in defense of small targets.Sami Chaudhry's column: Azhar Ali has to come out of the shadow of Misbah!


However, if Misbah had been the fielding captain instead of Azhar Ali, he would have focused all his energies on breaking the flow of runs and it was not far off that he would have won the match. The 2016 English series also had a similar strategy that Misbah had drawn the series.

But there are no encouraging figures in Azhar Ali's account as captain. He has a good record at home, but in the context of the ICC Test Championship, to play in the Lord's final, he will have to win matches in all conditions. Now, after this series, Pakistan has a long holiday in Test cricket.

He will have to travel to New Zealand at the end of the year and the conditions there will be more difficult than the English wickets, not only Sam, but also the extra bounce of the green top wickets.Sami Chaudhry's column: Azhar Ali has to come out of the shadow of Misbah!

Until then, Azhar Ali has plenty of time to think. One of the great virtues of Azhar Ali is his positivity and pragmatism. It has become clear so far that Azhar Ali cannot become a captain like Misbah.

But it remains to be seen whether Azhar Ali can become a captain like himself. Azhar's characteristic is that he always responds to criticism with a bat and the seemingly meaningless century of the last Test match is also a link in the same chain. 

The century also drew the match and delayed the growing pressure on Azhar Ali for some time.

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