The Rise: Tale of Babar "steady" Azamপোস্টটি ৩৫৩ বার পঠিত হয়েছে
Country to introduce Imran Khan, Wasim Akram, Shoaib Akter, Waqar Yunus and many greats has defined themselves in the game of Cricket as a home of fearsome bowlers. But things start to get pretty exciting when a country known to dish out world class bowlers, suddenly gives a classy and a technically sound batsman out of nowhere.
Ever since the golden days of Saeed Anwar, Ijaj Ahmed, Injamamul Haque, Javed Miandad Pakistan cricket has struggled to introduce batsman to follow and continue their legacy. While the world had already moved on to the next generation of cricket, Pakistan had to struggle with the ageless Shahid Afridi, Mohammad Hafeez, Misbah-Ul-Haque and many more promising talents. India by then had Virat, Rohit; Australia had Steven Smith, David Warner; England had Joe Root, Stokes; New Zealand had Williamson, Ross Taylor. But for Pakistan, it has been an eternal search for a classy batsman who would mark his name with glory in the world cricket.
Their batting stocks at international level, espicially in the shorter formats seemed to be facing a drought. Many batsman had come but failed continuting to write their fortune in this game. The arrival of Babar onto the big scene however can't exactly be termed as serendipity.
Born in the beautiful city of Lahore, Punjub; Babar belongs to a cricketing family and is first cousin to the Akmal brothers. Babar is an exciting young batsman and has come up through the junior ranks of Pakistan cricket and is already touted as one for the future. He has grown up under the strict supervision performed directly by his father Azam Siddique. During the u-15, u-16 selection his father used to motivate him by sitting alongside him all day. In a recent interview he has spoke about this,
"My father was very strict in my early days and didn't let me waste any times during the practice sessions at all. He used to say, you'll understand one day. I do now."
Babar's journey began by representing his country at the u-15 level back in 2008. He also played in 2010 u-19 world cup but he first made his mark when he captained his national side in the u-19 world cup of 2012, where he ended up being the highest run getter for his side scoring 287 runs from 6 games. It seemed like a raw talent was unleashed.
Some steady knocks in the domestic circuit kept Babar in the reckoning and in the year 2015, he was finally selected for the national side to play against Zimbabwe. He played in the middle order that series and scored some handy scores there. But his career defining moment came in the series against the West-Indies where he slammed 3 consecutive centuries and became the only batsman to cross 350 runs in a 3 match ODI series.
His impressive showing at the ODI series led to his test debut where he scored 69 runs in his first innings of his test career. He later on had a very important role in Pakistan's maiden series win in the Caribbeans. Suddenly Babar had the opportunity to cement his place in the team since Yunis Khan and Misbah Ul Haque came into the last phase of their careers. He would grasp that opportunity with wide hands!
Over the years that followed, Babar had successfully managed to prove himself as a batsman of all formats. His T20 exploits were there to be seen. T20 is generally known to hit and muscling big shots but Babar quickly made his name in this format by playing some eye pleasing strokes. He soon went onto break Virat Kohli's record of scoring fastest 1000 runs in t20 and in year of 2018 he dethroned Aaron Finch and became the number one batsman in the T20 rankings. Within the 2-3 years of playing for Pakistan, Babar Azam establshed himself as one of the core member of the squad and was soon appointed as the leader of the attack in the shorter formats.
Inspite of his career still pretty much being in early stage he already owns a bunch of records. He's the joint fastest batsman to score 1000 runs in ODI's and fastest for Pakistan. He also had the most runs in the first 25 ODI innings by any batsman of the world. He is also the 2nd fastest and fastest for Pakistan to score 5 ODI hundreds. He already owns most hundreds than all but two Pakistani batter. Virat in the ODI seemed to be lost in his own ark of perfection and was the top ODI batter in the rankings for over 1257 days! But he too has recently lost his throne to Babar.
Although Babar is yet to create the same impact he has in the shorter formats into the test cricket but he surely knows about this err and would definitely like to mark his name in the most prestigious format of the game as well. His steady improvements and gradual climb in the test ranking is also there to be seen!
Now that he is the captain of all formats and already a fuss of the world media, Babar would love to redefine himself not just as an impactful batsman but also an elegant and innovative leader. With his new role and his career still having to go a long way, one would only wonder what the pride of Pakistan has in store to offer us!
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