||31 May 1976
A left-hander of more obduracy than flair, Asim Kamal is the sort of batsman who can bind the middle order together, allowing others to bat around him. He is typically minimalist, particularly well equipped with a fluid cover-drive, but his meat and drink are nudged singles and patient spells of batting. After five seasons of domestic cricket, Kamal finally made his Test debut against South Africa, at the relatively ripe age of 27. Like so many others of late, Kamal was impressive in his first match, missing out on a hundred by just one run. Coming back into side for the Tests against India, Kamal continued to impress. In a series where most of Pakistan's batsmen gained notoriety for throwing their wickets away, Kamal showed rare discipline and composure, batting well with the tail to score two half-centuries. He further consolidated his reputation as a gritty customer during Pakistan's 2005 tour of India, scoring 91 in the first innings of the first Test. His safe catching at gully came in handy on several occasions on the same tour. However, his consistency slipped in the following months and he spent a three-year exile from the squad. He was the subject of contentious debate among several selection committees and captains before finally earning a recall during the home series against Sri Lanka in 2009.