Just hours after announcing his retirement from ODI cricket, Pakistan top-order batsman Azhar Ali took to social media on ‘Off The Bench’ with Zainab Abbas to discuss his decision of calling time on his ODI career.
“I had been pondering over for the last few weeks about making a decision on my ODI future. I want to shift my complete focus on to Test cricket and that is one format I have always enjoyed playing,” said Azhar Ali on Off The Bench.
The 33-year-old will continue to play Test cricket for Pakistan – the format in which he has scored a double century and a triple ton in the last two years. “I will continue playing Test cricket for Pakistan. Although I enjoy batting at No. 3, I am always available to open the innings as well. Scoring a triple century in Test cricket is one achievement which I will always cherish.”
The former Pakistan captain looked back at his performances in Pakistan’s successful Champions Trophy stint in 2017. “I recall my partnerships with Fakhar Zaman in the Champions Trophy very fondly. We had a very successful tournament and I tried to play according to the requirement of the team at that point in time.”
Talking about his famous runout dismissal against Australia, Azhar Ali took the lighter side of things. “My kids make sure I do not forget that dismissal anytime soon. One of them keeps on reminding me about it and the other one goes on an imitating spree (laughs).”
Azhar Ali termed England fast bowler James Anderson as the toughest bowler he has ever faced. “In ODI cricket, you can cope with a few dangerous deliveries because pace bowlers do not usually bowl long spells, but in Test cricket, it becomes difficult negotiating a bowler in the form of his life over a longer period of time. England’s James Anderson is one bowler who has always troubled me in my career.”
Pakistan will play New Zealand in the 3-match Test series starting later this month in Abu Dhabi.