Somerset rope in Pakistani batsman as Matt Renshaw's replacement

Somerset rope in Pakistani batsman as Matt Renshaw’s replacement

A successful stint in the English domestic circuit is likely to keep him in good stead ahead of the crucial matches against Australia and New Zealand.

Azhar Ali
Azhar Ali of Pakistan (Photo Source: Tom Dulat/Getty Images)

English county Somerset drafted in Pakistani batsman Azhar Ali for their first-class matches. He will play seven matches until the end of the season and was roped in place of Australian left-handed batsman Matt Renshaw, who was initially selected as a replacement of David Warner, who is currently serving a one-year ban from Cricket Australia (CA) owing to the ball-tampering scandal.

Renshaw injured his finger last month during Somerset’s four-day match against Surrey at Guildford. He is also uncertain for Australia A’s tour of India next month. Azhar has a first-class experience of 161 matches in which he has notched 10234 runs at an average of 40.13. Adding to his numbers, the right-hander boasts of an incredible 33 centuries and 42 half-centuries.

A valuable inclusion for Somerset 

The 33-year-old has also represented Pakistan in 65 Tests and has notched 5202 runs at an average of 44.84. Moreover, he has 1845 runs in 53 ODIs to go with three centuries.  In 2016, he also became the first batsman to score a triple-hundred in a Day-night Test against the Windies in Dubai. Pakistan are also scheduled to host five Tests against Australia and New Zealand in the United Arab Emirates (UAE).

A successful stint in the English domestic circuit is most likely to keep him in good stead ahead of the all-important matches. His first assignment in England is expected to be Somerset’s upcoming match against Worcestershire in Worcester, which starts on July 22. Somerset, captained by Tom Abell, has had an impressive run in the Division One of the County Championship.

Out of seven matches, they have won three and are placed in the third spot of the points with 97 points table below Surrey and Nottinghamshire. The team has the likes of Steve Davies, Peter Trego, James Hildreth in their ranks and are one of the favorites to win the championship. Azhar’s inclusion is expected to be a massive boost to their campaign.

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