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Stats Prove Azhar Ali & Asad Shafiq Only Score in the Last Match of a Series

Azhar Ali and Asad Shafiq were meant to be the next Younis Khan and Misbah-ul-Haq after the legends decided to call it a day in 2017. The duo, however, hasn’t lived up to the expectations of Pakistani fans which is the reason why the team hasn’t performed that well in the longest format.

Azhar Ali’s batting average since the start of 2018 is a miserly 25.87 whereas Asad Shafiq has averaged 35.17 in the same period. These averages are below their overall career averages, which is indicative of the fact that the two haven’t been playing their best cricket in the past few years. Azhar averages 41.95 in 150 innings whereas Asad boasts an average of 38.61 from 126 innings.


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An interesting common feature between the two is their poor record in the first or a couple of opening matches of the series. They often tend to find form at the backend of the series, especially in the last Test of the series.

Let’s have a look at their numbers in the last matches of the series and compare it with the remaining matches:

Azhar Ali

The Pakistan captain has played 18 matches since the start of 2018 until the start of the third Pakistan-England Test. Pakistan’s first Test in 2018 was against Ireland in a one-match series in which Azhar scored 4 and 2.

4 17.39 1 caught 1 v Ireland Dublin 11 May 2018
2 50.00 1 caught 4 v Ireland Dublin 11 May 2018
50 36.76 1 lbw 2 v England Lord’s 24 May 2018
4 40.00 1 bowled 4 v England Lord’s 24 May 2018
2 6.89 1 lbw 1 v England Leeds 1 Jun 2018
11 78.57 1 bowled 3 v England Leeds 1 Jun 2018
18 22.50 3 caught 1 v Australia Dubai (DSC) 7 Oct 2018
4 40.00 4 lbw 3 v Australia Dubai (DSC) 7 Oct 2018
15 31.25 3 caught 1 v Australia Abu Dhabi 16 Oct 2018
64 45.39 3 run out 3 v Australia Abu Dhabi 16 Oct 2018
22 23.15 3 caught 2 v New Zealand Abu Dhabi 16 Nov 2018
65 47.79 3 lbw 4 v New Zealand Abu Dhabi 16 Nov 2018
81 43.31 3 run out 1 v New Zealand Dubai (DSC) 24 Nov 2018
134 45.11 3 caught 2 v New Zealand Abu Dhabi 3 Dec 2018
5 35.71 3 caught 4 v New Zealand Abu Dhabi 3 Dec 2018
36 52.17 4 caught 1 v South Africa Centurion 26 Dec 2018
0 0.00 4 caught 3 v South Africa Centurion 26 Dec 2018
2 10.52 4 caught 1 v South Africa Cape Town 3 Jan 2019
6 46.15 3 lbw 3 v South Africa Cape Town 3 Jan 2019
0 0.00 3 caught 2 v South Africa Johannesburg 11 Jan 2019
15 36.58 3 caught 4 v South Africa Johannesburg 11 Jan 2019
39 37.50 2 caught 1 v Australia Brisbane 21 Nov 2019
5 55.55 2 lbw 3 v Australia Brisbane 21 Nov 2019
9 39.13 3 caught 2 v Australia Adelaide 29 Nov 2019
9 112.50 3 caught 3 v Australia Adelaide 29 Nov 2019
36 44.44 3 caught 2 v Sri Lanka Rawalpindi 11 Dec 2019
0 0.00 3 bowled 1 v Sri Lanka Karachi 19 Dec 2019
118 75.15 3 stumped 3 v Sri Lanka Karachi 19 Dec 2019
34 57.62 3 caught 2 v Bangladesh Rawalpindi 7 Feb 2020
0 0.00 3 lbw 1 v England Manchester 5 Aug 2020
18 33.33 3 lbw 3 v England Manchester 5 Aug 2020
20 23.52 3 caught 1 v England Southampton 13 Aug 2020

Note: The runs in bold are in the last matches of the series.

In the series against Australia, New Zealand, and Sri Lanka, Azhar Ali scored big runs in the last matches of the series. Against Australia, Azhar scored 64 in the last innings after having a poor series with the bat.


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He capped off a decent series against New Zealand with a 134 whereas he made 118 in the final innings of the 2-match series against Sri Lanka.

Asad Shafiq

Asad averages relatively better – 35.17 – during the same period and he’s played the same number of matches as captain Azhar Ali. Let’s have a look at innings by innings numbers:

62 51.23 4 caught 1 v Ireland Dublin 11 May 2018
1 20.00 4 bowled 4 v Ireland Dublin 11 May 2018
59 59.00 4 caught 2 v England Lord’s 24 May 2018
DNB 4 v England Lord’s 24 May 2018
27 56.25 4 caught 1 v England Leeds 1 Jun 2018
5 100.00 4 caught 3 v England Leeds 1 Jun 2018
80 48.48 6 caught 1 v Australia Dubai (DSC) 7 Oct 2018
41 73.21 6 caught 3 v Australia Dubai (DSC) 7 Oct 2018
0 0.00 5 caught 1 v Australia Abu Dhabi 16 Oct 2018
44 48.88 5 caught 3 v Australia Abu Dhabi 16 Oct 2018
43 46.23 5 bowled 2 v New Zealand Abu Dhabi 16 Nov 2018
45 55.55 5 caught 4 v New Zealand Abu Dhabi 16 Nov 2018
12 33.33 5 caught 1 v New Zealand Dubai (DSC) 24 Nov 2018
104 40.15 5 lbw 2 v New Zealand Abu Dhabi 3 Dec 2018
0 0.00 5 caught 4 v New Zealand Abu Dhabi 3 Dec 2018
7 58.33 5 lbw 1 v South Africa Centurion 26 Dec 2018
6 30.00 5 caught 3 v South Africa Centurion 26 Dec 2018
20 76.92 5 caught 1 v South Africa Cape Town 3 Jan 2019
88 74.57 4 caught 3 v South Africa Cape Town 3 Jan 2019
0 0.00 5 caught 2 v South Africa Johannesburg 11 Jan 2019
65 91.54 4 caught 4 v South Africa Johannesburg 11 Jan 2019
76 56.71 4 bowled 1 v Australia Brisbane 21 Nov 2019
0 0.00 4 caught 3 v Australia Brisbane 21 Nov 2019
9 64.28 5 caught 2 v Australia Adelaide 29 Nov 2019
57 50.89 5 caught 3 v Australia Adelaide 29 Nov 2019
DNB 2 v Sri Lanka Rawalpindi 11 Dec 2019
63 50.00 5 caught 1 v Sri Lanka Karachi 19 Dec 2019
DNB 3 v Sri Lanka Karachi 19 Dec 2019
65 50.38 5 caught 2 v Bangladesh Rawalpindi 7 Feb 2020
7 31.81 5 caught 1 v England Manchester 5 Aug 2020
29 67.44 5 run out 3 v England Manchester 5 Aug 2020
5 38.46 5 caught 1 v England Southampton 13 Aug 2020

Like Azhar Ali, Asad Shafiq does enough at the end of the series to retain his spot in the playing XI. He scored 62 against Ireland, 44 against Australia, 104 against New Zealand, 65 against South Africa, 57 against Australia in Australia, 63 against Sri Lanka and 65 against Bangladesh.


Stats via ESPNCricinfo

Do you think Azhar Ali and Asad should do more to justify their positions in the national team? Let us know in the comments section.

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