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Former Pakistan batting coach Grant Flower believes that limited overs captain Babar Azam will become a “great player” that goes on to “break a lot of records”.
Azam currently averages 45.12 with the bat in Tests, 54.17 in ODIs and 50.72 in T20 Internationals.
The 25-year-old recently represented the Karachi Kings in the Pakistan Super League (PSL), where he finished as the tournament’s highest run-scorer with 345 runs in 10 games for the Kings at an average of 49.28 and a strike-rate of 123.65.
“Babar is brilliant. The first time I saw him play and first time I worked with him – when I threw balls at him at the academy in Lahore – he picked up length so much quicker than the rest of the players and I think that’s the hallmark of a great batsman,” Flower, who is now Sri Lanka’s batting coach, told Stats Perform News as quoted by PakPassion.
“If you look at some of the best players in the world like Steve Smith, Virat Kohli etc, they pick up length really quickly and play the ball late, have a great eye and hand-eye coordination. He has that and I think he is going to break a lot of records.
“Even in T20 cricket he plays normal cricket shots and that is also the sign of a great player. As long as he stays humble, which I’m sure he will as he’s a good bloke, there is no reason why he can’t be one of the best and he already pretty much is.
“He’s got a good cricketing brain but there’s a lot of politics in Pakistan cricket and a lot of pressure from the public. If you start losing, it’s one thing being the best batsman but that will put pressure on your batting skills and it can all come tumbling down pretty quickly.
“We’ve seen with great players in the past the pressures that captaincy can bring, but some players get better and if he gets better then the world is his oyster. Time will tell.
“But he seems pretty positive about it, I read what he said in an interview when he got the captaincy. I wish him all the best and hopefully all positives come with that.”