Twenty-seven-year-old Faisalabad born Asif Ali has, in his short international career, already proved to team-mates and opponents that he has the X-factor when it comes to batting. A powerful and clean striker of the ball, Asif provides Pakistan with another dimension when it comes to their middle-order power-hitting capabilities.
With a strike-rate of over 130 in both T20Is and in ODIs, Asif is a dangerous opponent for any team and is equally good against spin or pace-bowling. The Pakistan Super League in 2018 was where Asif came to prominence, whilst playing for Islamabad United, he was one of the main reasons why Islamabad lifted the trophy.
The selectors were impressed and he duly made his T20I debut in April 2018 and his ODI debut in July 2018. Asif, like Mohammad Amir did not make the provisional World Cup squad but his performances in the 5 match ODI series against England convinced the selectors that he deserved a spot in the final squad. At times Asif has played some loose shots at crucial points in his innings, but he will say that he is a team player and unselfish.
One thing is for certain when Asif starts hitting the ball cleanly, no boundary is big enough. A match-winner on his day, Asif probably hasn't done justice to his talent so far in Pakistan colours. When Asif is at the crease, there's no half-measures as was evident in the series against England and Pakistan will be hoping that he continues his good form at the World Cup.
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