Fazal opens a new account in Harare

Maharashtra-born Faiz Yakub Fazal made his ODI debut against Zimbabwe in Harare on June 15, 2016.

Faiz Yakub Fazal.

The left-hander replaced Karun Nair at the opening slot, after the latter couldn’t bring much success in the first two ODIs against Zimbabwe. Fazal’s ODI debut comes at the age of 30.

His century against Mumbai to help Rest of India win the Irani Trophy is memorable. That was a historic run chase by Rest of India after conceding 603 runs in the first innings. Rest of India achieved the highest successful run chase in the Irani Trophy — and 10th best in first class history — to chase 480 with four wickets in hand. Fazal scored 280-ball 127.

Fazal now represents Vidarbha in Ranji matches. In the 79 first class matches he has played, he scored 5341 runs at an average of 40.15, 200 not out being his highest. In his debut match in 2003, he scored 151. His innings helped Vidarbha win the match by an innings and 112 runs. He is now the vice-captain of Vidarbha Ranji team.

Early in 2016, Fazal and Murali Vijay helped India A put up 286. A clinical performance by the bowlers helped their side romp home by a comfortable 87-run margin.

In the 48 Twenty20 matches he has played, he scored 896, with 66 being the highest at an average of 20.36.

Despite having a poor record in the shorter formats, Fazal’s impressive Ranji record sealed him a berth in the Zimbabwe tour.

Fazal is also a decent right-arm medium pacer. He has taken 20 wickets in the Ranji matches with 4 for 48 being his best.

In the T20s, he has picked 10 wickets so far.

A match-winning knock in his debut match may put Fazal on the selectors’ radar, who are looking for a strong opening pair for India.