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Sports

Web Desk
May 10, 2021

Babar Azam achieves impressive Test feat with latest victory over Zimbabwe

Web Desk
Mon, May 10, 2021
Pakistani skipper Babar Azam. Photo: File.

Pakistani skipper Babar Azam is the first captain of the national side to win four opening Test matches since he was handed the reins of a skipper. 

This is the sixth straight series win for Pakistan after the green shirts demolished Zimbabwe to clean sweep the two-match Test series. This makes it only the sixth time that Pakistan have won six or more consecutive series since 1952.

Pakistan defeated South Africa in Tests and T20Is at home earlier this year and then won the T20I and ODI series in the return series before wrapping up the African safari with T20I and Test series wins in Harare.

 Pakistan won 13 straight series in 2011-12, nine consecutive series in 2015-16, eight successive series in 2001-02 and six straight series in 1993-94 and 2017-18.

Babar followed his two home Test wins against South Africa with victories by innings margins in Harare. The number-one ranked ODI batsman will now have a chance to get back to his run-scoring form in red-ball cricket when he captains Pakistan against the West Indies (two Tests) and Bangladesh (two Tests) in August and September, respectively.

During the 2020-21 cricket calendar, Pakistan played nine Tests, six ODIs and 19 T20Is in the 10-month period under unprecedented Covid-19 restrictions and protocols.

The team has fared well in most instances, retaining its number four spot in the T20I rankings while managing to climb to the fifth spot in the Test rankings. Pakistan also presently occupies second place behind England on the ICC Men’s Cricket World Cup Super League and has retained the fourth position in the T20Is.

PCB Chairman Ehsan Mani congratulated the side on the successful Africa tour and also thanked the players and support staff for enduring the tough and demanding Covid-19 protocols.

"On behalf of the Pakistan cricket fans, I want to congratulate the Pakistan men’s cricket team on completing successful tours of South Africa and Zimbabwe," he said.

“The young and talented side through their performances under a blossoming and skilful captain and a committed and knowledgeable backroom staff have shown they are heading in the right direction. Nonetheless, a lot of work still needs to be done if they have to achieve their objective of featuring in the top three across all formats by 2023.," added the PCB chairperson.

However, Mani said if Pakistan wanted to become "world beaters" they would have to continuously raise the quality of their cricket.

He appreciated the Pakistani cricketers for their resilience when it comes to bio-secure environments.

“We have recently seen the impact of bio-secure environments on some international cricketers, but our players have shown tremendous resilience, mental toughness and focus during the past 10 months in which they clearly developed team unity and harmony that also helped them in their on-field performances," he said.

Pakistan’s next international assignment is three Super League ODIs and three T20Is against England from 8-20 July, followed by the tour to the West Indies.