April 4, 2021, Wednesday — This day of cricket can be easily called by anyone, Babar Azam’s day! At the beginning of the day, he got good news Babar has become the No. 1 batsman in the ODI rankings by removing Virat Kohli. His great batting in the ODI series during the tour of South Africa has contributed to this good news. Towards the end of the day, Babur led the team to victory with a remarkable 122 off 59 balls in the third T20 of the series against South Africa at Centurion.
However, it is better for Pakistani cricket fans to overtake Kohli in the ODI rankings to rise to the top. Their outstanding batting gem has slowly crossed the age line and started proving itself to be invaluable! When this is the case, one can take a look at the last decade of Pakistan cricket. Let’s take a look at the best specialist batsmen in Pakistan in this decade. Then let’s compare Babar with them.
Misbah-ul-Haq, the former batsman who is currently the coach of Pakistan, was more determined than glamorous or flamboyant in his batting. Shoaib Malik could not write his name in Test cricket like that. The same is true of the evergreen Shahid Afridi. Mohammad Hafeez has long been one of Pakistan’s leading batsmen. That too, of course, is due to his ability to move his hand with the batting.
Babar Azam is now the top batsman in the ICC ODI rankings, replacing Virat Kohli.
Babar Azam is now the top batsman in the ICC ODI rankings, replacing Virat Kohli. Photo: AFP
All in all, Pakistan has been doing happily for a perfect expert batsman for a long time. But the light of the next generation is spreading in other parts of the world. India has Virat Kohli and Rohit Sharma, now India has got a Rishabh Pant too. Alastair Cook was from England. Now there are outstanding talents like Joe Root. Australia has got batsmen like Steve Smith, David Smith, and Marnus Labushan. Ross Taylor is now in decline, but New Zealand has long ago found a talented batsman like Kane Williamson.
But time seemed to come to a standstill in Pakistan cricket. During this time they had to fight to adapt to the ‘new home’. And to fight that, Pakistan cricket is just chewing on happy memories! They are still groping for the batting beauty of Zaheer Abbas, all the brilliant shots of Javed Miandad, the twisting of Saeed Anwar’s wrist, the lazy beauty of Inzamam-ul-Haq, the positivity of Younis Khan Another issue continues in Pakistan cricket. Trying to find ‘raw diamonds’ and make them shiny. Most of the diamonds fall out. But Babar Azam is one of those raw diamonds who is on his way to becoming Pakistan’s next batting legend. He is one such person who can challenge Virat Kohli, one of the batting heroes of this period.
Babar Azam said that Virat Kohli’s advice was useful in becoming perfect as a batsman.
Babar Azam said that Virat Kohli’s advice was useful in becoming perfect as a batsman. Photo: AFP
Babar was 22 years old when Pakistan won the title after beating India in the final of the 2016 Champions Trophy. Two years later, he broke Miandad’s Pakistani record in the World Cup. Babar scored 464 runs at an average of 7.61 in the 2019 World Cup. With this run, he broke Miandad’s 1992 World Cup record and became Pakistan’s highest run-scoring batsman in a World Cup. However, Pakistan failed to reach the semifinals of the 2019 World Cup. But in that World Cup, Pakistani cricket fans have at least seen that Babur has established himself as a full-fledged batsman beyond the age limit.
Especially in the match against New Zealand, which was chased by Pakistan, Babar blossomed into a full-fledged flower. The sky was overcast. Under that cloudy sky, Trent Bolt’s swing was biting like a snake. Lucy Ferguson’s moving balls were hissing in his ears and coming out with a sigh. And on that day, Mitchell Santner was sitting in a unique position of perfect bowling. On the contrary, Babur was as stable as a sage. After playing with time, he slowly came out of his shell. He left the field after winning the match unbeaten by 101 runs. Said at the end of the match, this is the best innings of his career!
The secret of Babar Azam’s success is to learn and practice hard by watching all the great cricketers.
The secret of Babar Azam’s success is to learn and practice hard by watching all the great cricketers. Photo: AFP
Some parts of Babarnama were heard. Now let’s come to the story of how Babur managed to turn himself into such a batsman. Tennis ball cricket at the beginning of the story. As a child he used to play in the alleys of Lahore. Sometimes in the guise of practice, sometimes in the form of competition. Model Town Park in Lahore is not far from Gaddafi Stadium. Babur grew up in that model town park, that tennis ball cricket.
The Akmal brothers became his cousins. But Babar did not go astray like the Akmal’s. The reason for this must be Baba Azam Siddique. At every step taken by Babar on his journey, this man’s hand was by his side. Ho