Pakistan’s emerging cricketer Babar Azam has toppled India’s ace cricketer and skipper Virat Kohli from his third spot in the ranking of the World’s third-fastest cricketer to score 11 ODI centuries. Kohli took 82 innings to reach milestone compared to Babar Azam’s swift sail to the 1100-runs mark in just 71 innings.
Azam smashed his 11th ODI century in the second match against Sri Lanka in Karachi’s National Stadium on Monday. Babar Azam stands next to South African’s prolific batsmen Hashim Amla at the top with a record of 64 innings, and Quinton de Kock who brought up his 11th hundred in only his 65th innings. Interestingly, this was Babar Azam’s first match after taking the helm of Vice-Captain in the team.
It seems Virat Kohli and Babar Azam are closely vying for the top post, with Babar Azam just third in the ranking and two matches away to edge out Virat Kohli.
Babar’s knock against Sri Lanka lifted him to another height in the international cricket, proving himself the finest find in recent years when Pakistan is struggling to discover the exceptional batsmen. Babar Azam’s is inevitably a significant addition to Pakistan’s uncertain batting line-up. Babar showed when he’s out in the middle, he really can block out everything else.
“When you play in front of your home crowd, you enjoy yourself; I certainly do,” he said afterward while speaking to the press. “There’s no pressure associated with it, and I don’t tend to burden myself with any extra pressure. I just focus on what I need to learn and improve.”
The 24-year-old also became the quickest to score 1000 ODI runs in a calendar year for Pakistan, reaching the milestone in only 19 innings. His fans are optimistic that Babar Azam will surpass Virat Kohli as the top batsman in the ICC ODI rankings. It seems Virat Kohli and Babar Azam are closely vying for the top post, with Babar Azam just third in the ranking and two matches away to edge out Virat Kohli.
He attributed his in-form batting to the experience gained during the World Cup matches. Adding that “The time I spent in the county game this season made a big difference,” he said. “There was a lot I learned there; I went after just a week’s rest at the end of the World Cup. I played 14 matches against quality opposition, and that helped quite a lot.”
Would have th news regarding Sarfaraz Ahmed getting replaced by Babar Azam as ODI captain had revolved if Babar had failed & Sarfaraz had scored well in second ODI? Babar has an introvert persona and is not a captain material. Let him create records as a batsman!🏏🙏🏾#PAKvSL
— Unique (@FARHAT022) October 2, 2019
— hüمzii 🇵🇰 (@Zi99Ham) October 1, 2019
Babar Azam vs Javed Miandad
With his spectacular performance in the World Cup, he surpassed the record of legendary Javed Miandad as Pakistan’s highest scorer in a single World Cup campaign. Azam reached this milestone during his World Cup 2019 innings against Bangladesh at Lord’s here when he took 60th run of his inning to surpass Miandad’s 27-year-old record of 437 runs in a World Cup edition. Miandad had set the record during the 1992 World Cup, achieving 437 with nine half-centuries.
Shahid Afridi via his youtube channel "I say to Babar Azam I want you to play long innings and you are not just a 50 runs type player, rather you are capable of scoring 100, 150 or 200. You are the backbone of the team and a consistent performer for Pakistan" #Cricket
— Saj Sadiq (@Saj_PakPassion) October 1, 2019
Babar, 24, also is one of only two Pakistanis to have scored more than 400 runs in a World Cup edition, the other being Miandad. Babar had earlier become the fastest Asian cricketer to reach the 3,000 runs mark in ODIs.
The numbers suggest Babar Azam is on track to become Pakistan's greatest ODI batsman, and it's about time 🇵🇰 fans give him the credit he deserves@babarazam258 #CRICKET#SL VS PAK pic.twitter.com/KFknv2IDAu
— Muhammad Noman (@Nomancricket29) October 1, 2019
Babar Azam (9) has hit more sixes than Virat Kohli (8) in ODIs in 2019 and his strike-rate (91.70) is better than Rohit Sharma (88.00). Good to see him competing with the two ODI giants of modern era.
Kohli, Rohit, Babar are also top three in the ICC ODI Rankings. #PakvSL
— Mazher Arshad (@MazherArshad) September 30, 2019
Meanwhile, social media immensely cheered Babar Azam for his tremendous achievement in Monday’s match.
Babar Azam…piling up runs for Pakistan. Played at home after almost 2 years and smashed a 100 against SL in Karachi. Quite the sensation in international cricket. So let's look at this player more closely in today's episode of @TVSEurogrip presents #AakashVani. pic.twitter.com/6xZLuUWn0J
— Aakash Chopra (@cricketaakash) October 2, 2019
BABAR AZAM 🇵🇰 just needs 165 Runs in next 2 matches to beat Virat Kohli 🇮🇳 record and become No.1 ODI BATSMAN in the World history. Coool 🏆 pic.twitter.com/VgDDwi7scO
— STORYBOX ✪ (@StoryBoxLive) October 2, 2019