In the world of cricket, where the spotlight often shines brightly on legendary players like Rohit Sharma, Virat Kohli, Kane Williamson, and Joe Root, there emerges a new star who is captivating the cricketing universe with his extraordinary talent and finesse. Former Indian cricketer Gautam Gambhir has unequivocally rated Babar Azam as a class batter to watch out for in the 2023 ODI World Cup in India. What sets Babar Azam apart, according to Gambhir, is his ability to command time and space, allowing him to execute his shots with unmatched precision.
On a fateful day in September 2023, Gambhir expressed his admiration for Babar Azam during an interview with Star Sports. In his candid assessment, Gambhir confidently stated, “Babar Azam can set this World Cup on fire. I have seen a lot of players with so much time to bat. I think that Rohit Sharma, Virat Kohli, Kane Williamson, and Joe Root are there, but Babar Azam has a different level of capability.”
These words carry significant weight coming from a cricketer of Gambhir’s stature, a two-time World Cup winner himself. Gambhir’s assertion about Azam’s remarkable capabilities hints at the immense potential this young Pakistani captain possesses.
While the praise for Babar Azam is undeniably well-deserved, it’s important to assess his recent performances to understand why he is being touted as the standout player of the 2023 ODI World Cup. It’s true that Azam faced a few hiccups in the Asia Cup 2023, where he returned scores of 17 (22), 10 (24), and 29 (35) against Bangladesh, India, and Sri Lanka, respectively. However, what truly shines is his ability to bounce back.
Gautam Gambhir Makes A Big Prediction On Babar Azam For The World Cup 2023
In the same tournament, Azam exhibited his class by smashing an awe-inspiring 151 off just 131 deliveries against Nepal. This innings underscored his ability to single-handedly change the course of a match and demonstrated his mental resilience. In 2023 alone, Babar Azam has amassed a staggering 745 runs in 15 innings at an average of 49.67, including two centuries and six half-centuries. These statistics unequivocally establish him as one of the premier ODI batters in the world.
Babar Azam’s impressive performances in 2023 are not isolated incidents. His career statistics paint a picture of consistency and excellence that few can rival. Across 108 ODIs, Azam has accumulated 5,409 runs at an astonishing average of 58.16. These runs include 19 centuries and 28 half-centuries, further cementing his reputation as a world-class batsman.
One of the remarkable aspects of Babar Azam’s career is his consistent dominance against cricketing powerhouses. Against the five-time World Cup champions Australia, Azam has scored 588 runs in nine ODIs at an average of 73.50, including three centuries and two fifties. This record against Australia showcases his ability to perform under the most challenging conditions.
Azam’s excellence extends to England as well, where he has aggregated 816 runs in 19 ODIs at an average of 48, including two centuries. His ability to excel against the defending champions speaks volumes about his adaptability and temperament on the big stage.
Furthermore, the Lahore-born sensation has a formidable record against South Africa and New Zealand. He boasts 523 runs in ten ODIs against the Proteas with an average of 65.38 and 840 runs in 19 ODIs against the Kiwis with an average of 46.67. These performances reflect his versatility and ability to excel against different bowling attacks and conditions.
While Babar Azam has showcased his dominance against several top teams, he faces a unique challenge when it comes to India. Against the arch-rivals, Azam has scored 168 runs in seven ODIs at an average of 28, without registering a half-century. While his numbers against India may not be as impressive as his overall record, it’s worth noting that cricket is a game of uncertainties, and even the best can face challenging opponents.
Babar Azam’s emergence as a cricketing sensation is backed by his consistent performances, adaptability, and ability to excel on the world stage. Gambhir’s praise for Azam is not unwarranted, as the Pakistani captain possesses the talent and composure required to make a significant impact in the 2023 ODI World Cup. As cricket enthusiasts await the tournament with bated breath, all eyes will be on Babar Azam, the rising star who has the potential to shine brighter than ever before.