A right-handed opening batsman and a part-time leg-spinner, Azhar has worked his way steadily up Pakistan's domestic scene since 2006. With a 40+ average which included 11 hundreds, a national call up was only a matter of time. Following his prolific run-scoring seasons with Khan Research Laboratories and an impressive Pakistan A's tour of Australia, the youngster finally reaped rewards of his hard work when he was drafted into the national side after the exclusions of Mohammad Yousuf and Younus Khan in the Test series against Australia in 2010. He made his Test debut before playing an ODI, which is rare for Pakistani players. He played a crucial knock in his very second game where he made a match-winning 51 at Leeds as Pakistan successfully chased down a tricky target of 180, with just three wickets in hand. With this, Azhar retained his place in the squad for the Tests against England the following month.