As far as blistering starts to one's international careers are concerned, few can rival Umar Akmal. He announced himself with scores of 66 and 102* inside his first three ODIs in Sri Lanka in 2009 and then went on to score 129 and 75 on Test debut in New Zealand. He became just the second Pakistani batsman to score a hundred on debut away from home after Fawad Alam. He finished his debut Test series as the highest run-getter. These performances weren't a surprise. At the first-class level, Akmal was renowned for his big scores amassed in quick time.
As a fearless middle-order batsman throughout Pakistan’s disappointing spree of series losses against Sri Lanka in 2009 and later in Australia in early 2010, Umar's ascendance was one of their few positives. But as the series in Australia progressed, complacency began to creep into his Test form, which started to dip.
In ODIs though, a hundred and five fifties by his 18th outing helped him maintain a steady average. It was enough to justify an inclusion in Pakistan's 2010 World Twenty20 squad. He finished the tournament as Pakistan's third highest-run getter towards their semi-final run. However, his poor form continued in Tests and soon he was dropped for the series against Sri Lanka in the UAE. He has sparkled sporadically in the ODIs and T20Is.
His flamboyance, immaculate timing and wide range of shots in his armoury make him a dangerous proposition for any opposition but with the kind of talent he possesses, it's high time he starts being consistent!