KARACHI: Pakistan’s former captain and opening batsman Azhar Ali has said that his return to international cricket following an injury would be a ‘step-by-step’ process and there was no need to rush towards it.
Talking to journalists here, Azhar stated that he’s satisfied with his performance after completing rehab process to recover from a knee injury that kept him away from cricket for two months.
“It is pleasing for me to score a century in my comeback match and gives me hope that I will make a comfortable comeback to international cricket very soon,” the 32-year-old batsman said.
“I am going stage by stage. I discuss my progress with PCB doctors on daily basis. We are taking one step at a time, moving gradually. I am feeling very comfortable in batting and fielding both, and working hard for my fitness.”
Azhar, one of Pakistan’s only four triple centurions in Test cricket, said it was frustrating for him to sit out because of injury.
“It is never easy for any player to make comeback after injury; it is frustrating to stay out. I have worked hard on my knee injury while I was away, worked with Dr. Zafar in the UK and with Dr. Sohail in Pakistan on my fitness and rehab,” he stated.
When asked if he considers himself fully fit for selection for New Zealand series, Azhar said that he’s moving step by step towards international cricket and a final decision on his return to Pakistan team has to be taken by the PCB’s medical panel.
“It is not good to rush for things soon after recovering from a knee injury; you need to move step by step. My recovery is on track and all the results are positive. I will play more matches in due course so that we get a clear picture,” he said.
“Once the medical panel gives 100% then I will make a comeback to international cricket. Personally, I am confident for the series [against New Zealand],” Azhar added.
Speaking about Pakistan team post-Misbah and -Younis, the 32-year-old said the team will take time to get back on the track after retirement of two stalwarts.
“You need time to adjust after retirement of two top players. I am sure the replacement players will gel with the time and the team will be on track by next year as we are scheduled to play numbers of Test matches,” he said.
Azhar said he is comfortable to play at any position according to the team’s requirement.
“Wherever my team needs me, I try to perform at that position. Batting position isn’t an issue for me,” he concluded.