Faiz Yakub Fazal
September 07, 1985, Nagpur, Maharashtra
Left hand bat
Right arm medium
When he won his first international cap on India's tour of Zimbabwe in 2016, Faiz Fazal became the first Indian player in 16 years to make his ODI debut in his thirties. It was an uncharacteristic call from the selectors on more than one count; Fazal was also the only player in India's squad without an IPL contract.
The call-up was reward for an excellent 2015-16 domestic season. The left-handed Vidarbha opener made 714 first-class runs at an average of 44.62, with three centuries including a match-winning 127 in Rest of India's epic chase of 480 in the Irani Cup; and enjoyed a run of consistent scores in 50-over cricket capped by a century in the Deodhar Trophy final.
Fazal has been an ever-present at the top of Vidarbha's line-up since scoring 151 on his first-class debut in December 2003. He could have been part of India's squad at the 2004 Under-19 World Cup, but an injury forced him to withdraw; Shikhar Dhawan replaced him and went on to become the tournament's highest run-getter.
Fazal is also a handy purveyor of gentle medium-pace, and occasionally, when Vidarbha squeeze in an extra spinner, forms a new-ball pair of contrasts with the pacy Umesh Yadav.
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