Abu Dhabi, UAEFriday 17 January 2020

Complete profile of Pakistan batsman Babar Azam, his career highlights and milestones

All you need to know about the next batting star from Pakistan

Full name: Mohammad Babar Azam

Date of birth: October 15, 1994

Place of birth: Lahore, Pakistan

Role: Top order batsman

Teams represented: Pakistan Under-19s, Sylhet Royals, Pakistan A, Pakistan, Islamabad United, Rangpur Riders, Karachi Kings, Guyana Amazon Warriors, Sylhet Sixers, Somerset, Dublin Chiefs

Test debut: Against West Indies, Dubai, October 13, 2016

ODI debut: Against Zimbabwe, Lahore, May 31, 2015

T20 debut: Against England, Manchester, September 7, 2016

Milestones: 2017 Champions Trophy winner, fastest to 1,000 runs in T20 Internationals, top-ranked T20 batsman in 2019

Height: 5’11”

Family: Cousin of Pakistan internationals Kamran, Umar and Adnan Akmal

The finest young batsman in contemporary cricket and one of the best batsmen produced by Pakistan. If you have to describe Babar Azam in one word, it would be flawless. There is no apparent weakness against any type of bowling, format or conditions, which is a rare quality among modern batsmen.

Azam was earmarked as a special talent from his Under-19 days. The right hand batsman represented his country at the 2010 and 2012 U19 World Cups, the second time as captain, finishing among the top three run-scorers on both occasions.

His international bow came within three years and he did not waste any time in making his mark. He scored a fifty on his ODI debut against Zimbabwe in 2015, a fifty in his second T20 against the West Indies in September 2016, and a fifty on his Test debut against the Windies the next month.

During the initial few years, Azam excelled in white-ball cricket where his attacking style came to the fore. He broke a number of records during his blazing start in limited overs cricket, including becoming the quickest to 1,000 runs in T20s, joint-second fastest to 2,000 and third fastest to 3,000 runs in ODIs. The 2017 Champions Trophy final win over India, where he hit 46, became one of the early highlights of his career.

However, he took some time to replicate his white-ball form in the Test arena. He had a particularly poor 2017, having eight single digit scores, including five ducks, in 12 Test innings.

But his quality was always going to shine through. By the end of 2018, he started to turn things around in the Test arena. Playing against Australia and New Zealand in the UAE, he scored three fifties and a century in six innings. 2019 was the year in which his truly raised the bar, scoring a century and a 97 in Australia before cracking two tons and a fifty in three innings in Pakistan against Sri Lanka.

Azam is now considered a member of the batting elite in modern cricket, rubbing shoulders with the likes of Virat Kohli, Steve Smith, Kane Williamson and Joe Root. If he maintains his performances in red-ball cricket, Babar will without doubt be the next great batting superstar; he is definitely on his way to becoming one.

Updated: January 8, 2020 06:52 PM

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