Babar Azam continues to break records with his impeccable batting prowess
In the international circuit there are a few batsmen who are dominating world cricket with their consistent performances. Indian captain Virat Kohli, Australia’s Steven Smith, New Zealand skipper Kane Williamson and Pakistan’s Babar Azam are among them. Babar is the youngest player among them.Babar is one of the best batsmen at number 3 in ODIs. In the recently concluded ODI series against South Africa, Babar remained the second top scorer with 228 runs at an average of 76 with one century and one fifty.
With his hundred in the first ODI, Babar became the quickest to score 13 ODI centuries. He took 76 innings to score his 13th hundred in ODIs. Former South African batsman Hashim Amla is now behind him as he took 83 innings to score 13 tons.
Earlier, Babar also went past Kohli to become the third fastest batsman to score 11 ODI hundreds. On his first ODI as vice-captain, he hit his 11th ODI century during the second ODI against touring Sri Lanka. He took just 71 innings to get to 11 hundreds, nine fewer than Kohli. Only Hashim Amla and Quinton de Kock got 11 tons faster than him, having taken 64 and 65 innings, respectively.
The 26-year-old Babar has an excellent record in all formats of the game.
In Test matches, he has scored 2167 runs in 57 innings of 31 Tests, averaging 44.22 with five hundreds and 16 fifties. In Test cricket, he is on the sixth position while Indian skipper Virat Kohli stands on fifth position.
Babar has an impressive ODI average of 56.83, behind Indian skipper Virat Kohli’s 59.07 among the top ODI players. In 80 ODIs, he has scored 3,808 runs with 13 hundred and 17 half-centuries. In the ICC ranking of ODI players, Babar Azam stands second with 852 points after Kohli 857 points.
Babar has played 47 T20 Internationals, and scored 1,730 runs, averaging 48.05, hitting 16 fifties. In the Twenty20 format, Babar is on the third position behind England’s Dawid Malan and Australia’s Aaron Finch of the ICC list.
As skipper Babar Azam scored back-to-back to hundreds - 125 against Zimbabwe in the last ODI before the South Africa series and 103 in the first match against the Proteas. Babar’s 103 in the first game was also the highest individual score by a Pakistan captain in a successful ODI chase.
Former Sri Lankan captain Kumar Sangakkara has said that Babar is one of the most exciting young talents he has seen in a long time.
In the 2019 ODI home series against Sri Lanka, Babar achieved another milestone when he became the fastest batsman to make 1,000 runs in a calendar year in ODIs for Pakistan. He took just 19 innings to reach the landmark, two less than Javed Miandad, who scored 1,000 runs in 21 innings in 1987. During this period he scored two centuries and seven half centuries. He was the only batsman to reach the 1,000-run mark in 2019.
In January 2017, Babar was also the joint-fastest player in history to score 1,000 runs in ODIs. He reached the landmark in just 21 innings, joining West Indies great Viv Richards, England’s Kevin Pietersen and Jonathan Trott, and South Africa’s Quinton de Kock.
In the World Cup 2019, too, Babar’s performance was remarkable. He surpassed Miandad’s record of 437 runs in a single World Cup (1992). Despite Pakistan’s early exit, Babar finished with 474 runs. He hit a century against New Zealand and three 50s.
Babar was included in the Pakistan under-19 team for the 2010 World Cup when he was just 15. In the 2012 under-19 World Cup he led the Green-shirts. Babar was the highest run-getter for Pakistan. He had been the leading run-scorer in the tri-series, involving Sri Lanka and Bangladesh Under-19s, in 2009.
Babar’s consistent performance at under-19 level forced selectors to give him a chance to play for the national side. He was named in the squad for the Zimbabwe series at home. He availed himself of the opportunity immediately and scored 54 off 60 balls in his debut match at Lahore on May 31, 2015.
Currently he is the only dependable and consistent performer in the Pakistan team across all formats.