World gets excited when a nation known to dish out fearsome fast bowlers suddenly gives a technically sound and classy batsman out of nowhere. That’s Babar Azam for you! Born in the beautiful city of Lahore, he’s a top order batsman with plenty of elegance and temperament.
First cousin to the Akmal brothers, Babar Azam began his cricket from a very young age and represented his country in the U15 World Championship followed by the U19 World Cups in 2010 and 2012. Azam showed a lot of promise and was the leading run-scorer for Pakistan in both the WC editions.
Some steady knocks in the domestic circuit kept Azam in the reckoning and in the year 2015, he was finally selected for the national team to play against Zimbabwe. Batting in the middle order, Babar played a few handy knocks but his career-defining moment came in the series against West Indies where he became the third Pakistani batsman after Zaheer Abbas and Saeed Anwar to hit three consecutive ODI centuries.
Soon Babar Azam was considered for the longer format of the game. His unbeaten 90 against New Zealand in Hamilton was the testament of his calibre although he’s yet to create the same kind of impact that he has in the shorter versions. Babar has successfully managed to prove himself as a batsman for all formats and his exploits in the T20 cricket is also there to be seen. A format renowned for muscling big shots, Babar quickly made a name for himself by playing delightful and eye-pleasing strokes. He also broke Virat Kohli’s record for the fastest 1000 T20I runs and in the year 2018 dethroned Aaron Finch to become the number one batsman in ICC’s T20I Rankings.
Within 2-3 years of playing for Pakistan, Babar Azam established himself as one of the most important members of the squad and was given the command of the team across all formats.