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One minute down next minute up, a popular remark that was being associated with the team Pakistan during Champions trophy 2017. A comment that now seems more accurate with the Player of that very tournament, Hasan Ali.
A career that is perfectly sinusoidal with intense peaks and acute lows. With injuries & quirky attitude forming the backbone of all that. Unfortunately for him, it has been a persistent low off late.
The main question is: Will he be able to redeem himself? A historic check might suggest ‘Yes’.
Hasan Ali: The Initial Glory:
The pacer began his international career in August 2016 after decent performances at the List A level. He continued on the good work on the international stage, managing 11 wickets in 8 Odis in his debut year.
Hasan Ali attained success in dictating terms on most of the oppositions he faced, regardless of the format and level of cricket he was in. He emerged as the third-highest wicket-taker in the second edition of the Pakistan Super League.
What followed next was even bigger. The strike bowler stunned the whole cricketing world through his relentless performance in the Champions Trophy 2017. He played a crucial role in Pakistan’s successful campaign, ending up as the title winner. The right arm assembled 13 wickets in the 5 games at a splendid average of 14.69 and economy of 4.29
He gathered 45 wickets in 18 ODIs he featured for Pakistan and rose to the highest rank in ODI cricket on the back of these clinical performances. Meanwhile, he made his test debut in the same year against the windies. Chipping in with 6 wickets in the 2 games.
During that period, he looked smooth in the T20 format as well, managing 12 wickets in the 9 outings.
Fall in Form & Fitness:
Unfortunately for him and Pakistan, a downward curve was observed from the midst of 2018 onwards. As the emerging pacer suffered an injury in July 2018. The injury which was earlier termed as minor, formed the basis of a horrendous form that extended for a year and so.
The performances of the right arm pacer in the 2019 World Cup, were a 360° shift from what they were in the Champions trophy 2017, in the identical English arenas. Hasan looked nothing but a liability as he took 2 wickets in 4 games at an unprecedented average of 128.
The following year 2020 was a difficult year for all sports around the globe due to Covid 19 restrictions. A more so, for the paceman from Gujranwala who was busy in coping with a series of injuries that kept him out for a huge chunk of games played by Pakistan.
Impeccable Resurgence of Hasan Ali:
Hasan roared back into international cricket through spectacular performances. He played a pivotal role in Pakistan sealing a historic red-ball series win against South Africa. He successfully kept his form going against England and Windies later in the year 2021.
The seam bowler managed 41 wickets in just 8 games. He remained the third-highest wicket-taker in test cricket and was nominated for the ICC Test Team of the year 2021.
Fragile Performances in Limited Overs Cricket:
Although the pacer was going guns in test cricket since his comeback in 2021. But his execution in white-ball cricket was still far from his best.
Before the start of the T20 World Cup 2021, he was regarded as the front-line bowler along with Shaheen Shah. But what transpired was rather shocking as the bowler failed miserably. He managed 5 wickets in 6 games of the mega event at an economy of 9.
The succession of average performances continued for the fast bowler within the Pakistan Super League and the Australian series where he was benched in the last 2 one day games.
Hasan Ali has been an exciting prospect over the years. Although his recent form combined with a dip in pace and control are indeed worrying. But seeing the number of ups and downs he had over the years, You Never Know.