October 16, 1987, Lahore, Punjab
Right hand bat
It wasn't until he was 31 that Abid Ali got his chance to represent Pakistan internationally, and though he marked it with a century, there was a sense it came in the wrong format. Since he made his debut in the Quaid-e-Azam trophy in 2007, Abid was an ever-present on Pakistan's domestic circuit, accumulating over 6,000 runs. He carried his bat for Islamabad in 2017-18, scoring 231, and, a few months after that ODI debut, followed it up with an unbeaten 249.
That prompted a call-up to the Test side for Pakistan's home series against Sri Lanka, and in the first Test in a decade played in the country, Abid would get his chance to the form of the game that perhaps came most naturally to him. Despite much of it lost to rain, he would mark it with a personal milestone, becoming the first man in cricketing history to score a century on both Test and ODI debut. It cemented his role as first-choice opener for Pakistan, and he was picked for the tour of England in 2020. While a truly big score eluded him, he scored a half-century, and survived 50 overs in the second innings of the final Test, helping Pakistan secure a draw.
A right-handed batsman, Abid is particularly strong off the back foot through the offside, and while he prefers getting in line behind the ball, his head does have the tendency to fall over, leaving him vulnerable to the lbw. His rise presents Pakistan with a viable candidate for opener which is especially welcome, given the void left by Imam-ul-Haq's struggles to replicate his ODI form in the red-ball format. Having been overlooked for as long as he was even as he piled on the runs domestically, one wondered if his chance had gone. Having been presented one, he appears eager to make up for lost time, and will want to ensure he ends up with an international career to match his domestic one, and not simply as a somewhat tricky answer to a pub quiz question.
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