Pakistan will have their own Ben Stokes soon: Azhar Ali
Pakistan batsman Azhar Ali, who recently hit the headlines for his over reversing his retirement in ODIs, showered praises on England all-rounder Ben Stokes and had also hoped that his own country would also find a player like Ben Stokes very soon.
England were tracking a huge target of 359 to stay alive in the Ashes series and were in troubled water after losing nine wickets on 286 runs. But Ben Stokes went about his business with Jack Leach at the other end as they both added 76 runs to steer England to victory.
The masterclass knock of 135* not out earned Ben Stokes praises across the board. Pakistan’s Azhar Ali also heaped praise on Stokes. ‘Stokes a polished all-rounder now,’ he added.
“We all saw that innings, and we should all congratulate him on the way he won the game for England. Ben Stokes at the moment is a pretty polished all-rounder, who won the World Cup as well.
So finding a player of such calibre is not an easy task even England will find it hard to find the second player like him,” the 34-year-old Azhar was quoted as saying to media persons at Gaddafi Stadium, Lahore.
“Pakistan does have players that can finish the game, but Ben Stokes is a great player and hopefully we would see a player like him in the near future,” he said.
Azhar, who was made the Pakistan skipper after the 2011 World Cup, called curtains on his 50-over career before this year’s World Cup.
He represented in 53 ODIs for his national team, scoring 1,845 runs at a decent average of 37 and has also scored three hundreds. He was an important member of Pakistan’s Champions Trophy-winning squad of 2017 and he last played his ODI against New Zealand in January 2018.
The man, who last featured in a Test against South Africa in January this year, said the departure of big players like Misbah-ul-Haq and Younis Khan has left a big space and it has caused Pakistan to flog in the long format of the game.
He stressed on the fact that Pakistan need to win in outside conditions to boost their Test ranking which currently stands at seventh.