Azhar Ali set to make his return at SCG

Azhar Ali

Pakistan skipper Azhar Ali is all set to take the field at the SCG after missing two consecutive ODI matches against Australia due to a hamstring tear.

Azhar missed the opportunity to feature in the second and third ODI matches due to an apparent hamstring damage he suffered in the first ODI game while batting.

But he passed the fitness Test conducted this morning and was deemed fit to take the field after he cruised through a 15 min fitness Test at the SCG.

“Azhar Ali has done all the rehab and everything,” bowling coach Azhar Mahmood said today, before the skipper’s fitness test.

“He’s pretty much sure he’ll play and the physio is sure he will play.”

Mohammad Hafeez was asked to lead Pakistan in the absence of regular skipper Azhar Ali, where he led Pakistan to a record-shattering victory in Melbourne, ending a 12-year win drought in Australia, but failed to continue the momentum when Australia took the lead at the WACA to go ahead in the VB ODI series once again.

It is likely that Asad Shafiq will make way for the skipper after he failed to impress anyone with scores of 5 and 13 in the previous One-Day Internationals (ODI).

However, Pakistan bowling coach Azhar Mehmood is confident that Shafiq will replicate his Test form in limited overs cricket if provided with a consistent run in future.

“He’s a quality player, there’s no doubt about that,” Mahmood said. “It’s just a matter of being consistent in the one-day side.

“He’s been playing in Test match cricket and is settled at number six and he’s done wonders for Pakistan cricket.

“In terms of one-day cricket, he has to play more consistently … and get his numbers right.”

Australian pace ace Mitchell Starc is also likely to make a comeback after he was rested for the third ODI game of the series in Perth.

Pakistan must win the fourth game in Sydney in order to force a series decider and stay alive in the series.

Read: Smith, Handscomb glide Australia to victory at the WACA

Featured Photo Credit: Elizabeth Webb/Flickr