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England v Pakistan

Abid Ali: Who is Pakistan’s new opening batsman?

abid ali
by Wisden Staff 3 minute read

Abid Ali is one of the three openers – along with Imam-ul-Haq and Shan Masood – that Pakistan have picked in their 20-strong squad for the upcoming three-Test series against England.

The 32-year-old right-hand opener is still a newcomer to international cricket – having made his ODI debut for Pakistan in March 2019, followed by his Test debut in December later that year.

So… how did Abid Ali start?

Abid’s international career got off to a flying start, to say the least. He became the first men’s cricketer to score centuries on both ODI and Test debuts – 112 in the fourth ODI of a five-match series against Australia and a 109* against Sri Lanka on Test cricket’s return to Pakistan after 10 years.

His exploits in Test cricket didn’t stop there, however, as a 174-run knock in the second Test of the Pakistan-Sri Lanka series made him the first batsman from his country to hit a century in each of his first two Tests and the ninth overall.

What happened next for Abid Ali?

Abid has so far featured in only three Tests – all of which were played in Pakistan. He failed to trouble the scorers in the only outing of his third Test, which Pakistan won by an innings and 44 runs, against Bangladesh in February 2020. After three Tests, his numbers read: 321 runs at 107.

On the ODI front, he has four matches under his belt, with a century, a fifty and 191 runs at 47.75.

His rise to international cricket

Abid’s road to the top wasn’t straightforward as he featured in 105 first-class encounters, spanning across 12 years, before being presented the chance to represent Pakistan internationally.

“The domestic cricket I’ve played has served me well, and it was all for this moment,” he told ESPNCricinfo. “Wherever I’ve gone, whichever region or department I played for, gave me the confidence to play well today. In the 105 first-class matches I played before this game, all I was focused on was I had to take my chance whenever I was given one. I was intent on being positive, and that’s always the way I look to play.”

How has Abid Ali played in the intra-squad matches?

Abid didn’t have the best of times in the two intra-squad matches. He was dismissed for 10 by Sohail Khan in the first match before getting hit in the helmet while fielding at short leg, which deprived him of the chance to bat in the second innings.

He was cleared to play the second intra-squad match, however, where he scored 1 & 16 – falling to Sohail Khan in the first innings again.

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