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Stats Analysis

Stats - Azhar Ali: Pakistan's most prolific top-three batter

All the key numbers from Azhar Ali's 12-year Test career for Pakistan

Only four other Pakistan batters have more runs than Azhar Ali in Test cricket  •  Getty Images

Only four other Pakistan batters have more runs than Azhar Ali in Test cricket  •  Getty Images

34.4 Percentage of Test innings where Azhar Ali batted 100-plus balls, the highest by any batter since his debut (min: 100 innings). Azhar faced 100-plus balls in 63 innings, the joint-second most by any batter since his debut. Joe Root had done it 75 times in 232 innings, while Alastair Cook also faced 100-plus balls in 63 innings during this period.
7079 Runs by Azhar in Test cricket. He is one of the five players with 7000-plus runs for Pakistan in the format. His 19 hundreds are the fifth highest for Pakistan in Test cricket.
302* Azhar's highest score in Test cricket - against West Indies in 2016 in Dubai. It was the first-ever hundred scored in a day-night Test match and currently the second-highest individual score in a pink-ball Test. Azhar is only one among the four Pakistan batters to have scored a triple-hundred in Tests.
101.6 Balls-per-dismissal in Test cricket for Azhar, the fourth-best ratio for any batter with 100-plus innings since his debut. Only Younis Khan (107.7) had a better balls-per-dismissal than Azhar in Tests during this period for Pakistan.
1198 Test runs by Azhar in 2016, the second most by anyone for Pakistan in a calendar year, behind Mohammad Yousuf's 1788 runs in 2006. Azhar faced 2569 balls in 2016, which is also the second most in a year for Pakistan after Yousuf's 2854 in 2006.
57.25 Azhar's batting average during a three-year period in Tests - between October 2014 and September 2017. He scored 2748 runs in 52 innings with nine centuries and 11 fifties. Only three players had scored 1500-plus runs at a better batting average during this period.
6 Test matches missed by Azhar since his debut in July 2010. Only one player with 50-plus Test caps had missed fewer Tests for Pakistan during their career - Hanif Mohammad, who missed only two of the 57 Tests by Pakistan during his 17-year career.
37 Innings where Azhar opened for Pakistan - in 20.8% of his innings in Tests. Among players who've batted at No. 3 or lower at least 100 times in Test cricket, only two others - David Boon (33.2) and Alec Stewart (32.8) - have opened in a higher percentage of innings.
With Pakistan perennially on the lookout for a stable opening combination, Azhar - a solid No. 3 until that time - took on the responsibility in the third Test of the series against England in November 2015, opening in Test cricket for only the fourth time in his career.
Azhar, however, had the experience, having opened in 59 of 80 first-class innings before his Test debut in 2010. He scored 1359 runs as a Test opener between 2015 and 2017 at 59.08 - the second-best average among openers with at least 500 runs in this period.
6853 Test runs by Azhar while batting in the top three, the highest by any batter for Pakistan. His tally in the top-order for Pakistan is 2798 more than the next highest - Younis Khan (4055). Azhar scored 5297 runs while batting at No.3 alone, the seventh highest for any batter in Test cricket.
With inputs from Shiva Jayaraman

Sampath Bandarupalli is a statistician at ESPNcricinfo