An opening batsman and handy offspin bowler, Mohammad Hafeez first played for Pakistan in 2003, but it was only in 2011 that he finally became a regular in the side in all formats.
As a player, Hafeez gives the team plenty of options: he usually bats aggressively at the top of the order, but his organised technique also means he can switch to defensive mode if required. He doesn't flight his offbreaks much, but his excellent control over line and length allows the captain to use him at almost any stage of an innings. He is also one of the better fielders in the Pakistan team, especially in the point region.
Despite these skills, Hafeez failed to create a regular place for himself in the Pakistan in his first seven years in international cricket, primarily due to his inability to convert his starts into substantial scores. He scored plenty of pretty 30s and 40s, laced with some exquisite cover-drives, but that only helped cement the opinion that Hafeez may forever remain a player whose potential exceeds performance.
To a large extent, that changed in 2011, as Hafeez put in consistent displays with both bat and ball in all forms of the game. It actually started in the series against South Africa in November 2010, and then continued through 2011, a year which fetched him two centuries in Tests and three in ODIs, apart from two fifties in Twenty20 internationals. He won an incredible ten Man-of-the-Match awards in international cricket that year, and became only the third cricketer - after Sanath Jayasuriya and Jacques Kallis - to score 1000-plus runs and take 30 or more wickets in ODIs in a calendar year. With Taufeeq Umar, he formed Pakistan's most stable opening combination in Tests, as his aggression at the top of the order became a perfect counterfoil to Taufeeq's defensive approach.