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England v Pakistan

Nasser Hussain explains how Azhar Ali can solve his lbw woes in England

by Wisden Staff 2-minute read

Nasser Hussain, commentating on Sky Sports, analysed how Azhar Ali can solve his lbw woes in England by taking a cue from teammate Abid Ali‘s approach.

The Pakistan skipper has been trapped in front of the wickets on nine occasions in 12 Tests in England. Both of his dismissals in the Manchester Test were lbws against Chris Woakes.

As per CricViz, Azhar averages only 11.71 against nip-backers, which highlights his issue with being caught leg before wicket.

Hussain, while detailing Azhar’s lbw woes, pointed out how Pakistan opener Abid, after making a slight forward movement, withdraws his left foot to allow his bat to connect with the ball. The Pakistan captain, on the other hand, plants his left foot, which doesn’t allow him to connect with his pads coming in the way.

“Since 2010, nine times he’s been out lbw in England,” Hussain said. “They target those pads. What England do is they get him across his stumps and then bowl the nip-backer, goes straight and full and hit him on the foot or on the pads. He falls over the crease as he tries to work it towards square leg and mid-wicket, when he should be playing a lot of those balls to mid-on.

“Last game, a couple of times he was out lbw. He’s really falling over at the crease. A coach will tell you you are falling over, and a coach will tell you that your pad’s in the way. The difficult part is how you get it out of your system. I’ll compare him to Abid Ali – Abid Ali touches down with his left foot and then withdraws it so that his bat can access the ball. The head and bat position, all in the line.

“Azhar Ali taps down but his foot goes towards the ball and he can’t access it because his pad’s in the way. And the head position – way over to the off-side. He knows it, England know it and they’ll work him across the crease and work him out.”

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