Babar Azam, age 28, is the next great Pakistani batter. He has established himself in the national team, and is turning out to be a limited-overs master, breaking plenty of records in both ODIs and T20Is. As a Test player, he can be an elite performer in the most challenging format too.
For Pakistan cricket fans, Babar will forever be the first Pakistani captain to win a World Cup game against India, doing what had eluded Imran Khan, Wasim Akram and so many others. He also helped defeat India, red-hot favorites and defending champions, in the 2017 Champions Trophy final. As many as 6 of his 9 Test hundreds have come on home soil, and he has also starred in Pakistan T20 League matches in front of passionate home crowds.
Babar, who is the leading batter in the history of the Pakistan T20 League, knows he has to end that drought if he is to be ranked alongside batting legends like Javed Miandad and Inzamam-ul-Haq. As captain of a team that has often crumbled under pressure in big games in the last decade and more, he also needs to get more consistent performances out of his side.
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Babar Azam’s Personal Details
- Mohammad Babar Azam
Babar Azam Current Rankings
Babar Azam Stats
Babar Azam – Key Skills and Strengths
Like Virat Kolhi and AB de Villiers, two of the players he idolizes, Babar Azam’s batting is characterized by the time he has to play a variety of shots. Though technically sound, he isn’t the sort to get bogged down by the mechanics of batting. Like the best Asian batters, he’s comfortable facing spin bowling. But some of his greatest achievements – a Test century at the Australian fortress in Brisbane, a T20I century at Centurion in South Africa, and a 158 in an ODI in England – have come in alien conditions. Like Kohli, Babar has mastered the art of risk-free run accumulation in white-ball cricket. His form has been more patchy in Tests, though there have been plenty of glimpses of undoubted quality. He has hit nearly 100 sixes in international cricket, but that isn’t really his strength. When it comes to finding gaps in the field though, few are as gifted as he is.
Babar Azam Awards and Achievements
Currently ranked the No.1 batter in the world in both ODIs and T20Is, Babar has been incredibly consistent in white-ball cricket since his international debut in May 2015. In recent seasons, the responsibility of being the team’s leading batter has gone hand-in-hand with captaining the Pakistan cricket team. At the T20 World Cup in 2021, he became the first Pakistan captain to defeat India in a World Cup match, ending a losing streak across 2 formats that stretched back to 1992.
Here are some of Babar’s biggest achievements in international cricket:
- His ODI batting average of 59.17 is the highest among players who have played at least 50 games.
- He was the fastest to 5000 T20I runs, getting to the landmark in 97 innings, beating the previous record set by Hashim Amla (101).
- Babar Azam was named the ICC ODI Player of the Year in 2019. This award is given to the best player in the One Day International format.
- He was the ICC Men’s ODI Cricketer of the Year for 2021 and 2022.
- He was named captain of the ICC ODI Team of the Year in 2021 and 2022.
- He was named in the ICC Men’s Test Team of the Year 2022
Babar Azam’s Pakistan T20 League Journey
Babar started his Pakistan T20 League career with the Islamabad team in 2016 before moving to Karachi in 2017 and then to Peshawar in 2023. He was the leading run scorer in the competition in both 2020 and 2021. Babar is the one of the three batters to have scored more than 2000 runs in the league’s history. As captain, he led the Karachi team to the Pakistan T20 League title in 2020. If there is a criticism of a batter who has been so consistent, it is that he hasn’t often scored as quickly as other top batters in the format.