The cool-headed Azhar Ali just completed the tour of his life. Promoted as the ODI captain prior to the bilateral series against Bangladesh, Azhar exuded sheer confidence at the middle. Despite Pakistan’s terrible fortunes in the shorter formats, the 30-year old never stopped raging a lone battle and his 209 runs, including a century, in the three ODIs will attest to that. While in the two Tests, the right-hander totalled 334 runs, including his maiden double hundred.
An elated Azhar was kind enough to take some time out from yesterday’s celebrations to talk with Dhaka Tribune. Here are the excerpts:
How do you evaluate this tour?
As a batsman, the whole series went pretty good for me but in the ODIs, Pakistan did not do well and it was disappointing to lose the series. Although I batted well, I think the team’s success is more important so I was not happy. Then we took the field to play the Test series and I continued my form in the longer-version and we also won the series. So, that makes me happy. Team’s success is more important for every individual.
Were you surprised to see Bangladesh dominating the shorter formats?
To be frank, I was ready to face a tough Bangladesh as I know Bangladesh are a tough nut to crack in their own yard. They provided a hard time to us in the 2012 series (Asia Cup) and they also pushed us in the  Asia Cup. Moreover, they were in good form in the World Cup. I never expected an easy time here. We never take Bangladesh lightly. After the World Cup, Pakistan team went through some changes and Bangladesh grabbed the opportunity.
How did you motivate yourself prior to the start of the Bangladesh series?
I wanted to grab the opportunity as I was making a comeback to the ODI team after two years. I told myself I don’t have to prove anything to anyone. Thanks to the Almighty that I did well and I can look forward now. I attained my first double Test century and that was the peak point of my career, I think. I came here to prove myself to me and I am happy to do that.