Image courtesy of: ESPNcricinfo
Pakistan captain Babar Azam has insisted that he is not taking it easy now that he is the top-ranked batsman in ODIs and T20 Internationals.
With Azam determined to claim the No. 1 spot in Tests too, he is fired up to get there in the future.
However, he knows the journey to get there won’t be easy, especially considering he sits in fourth place on the standings and has to surpass Steve Smith, Marnus Labuschagne and Joe Root, who are third, second and first respectively.
“It’s not like if you are the top player in one or two formats, you go easy,” he was quoted as saying by Cricket Pakistan.
“If you are to become No.1 in all three, you have to keep yourself fit and on track. There is back-to-back cricket and the gap is less. For that, you need to be extra fit. It’s something I am preparing for.”
Azam’s standing in all three formats has been the result of world-class batting on a consistent basis.
In the three-Test series against Australia, he amassed 390 runs, which included a career-best 196, at an average of 78.
He then struck 276 runs in the three-match ODI series, which included two centuries and a fifty, at an average of 138.
As for the one-off T20 International, he hammered 66 runs off 46 balls, which included six boundaries and two sixes.
The 27-year-old continued to impress in the three ODIs against the West Indies, where he made 181 runs, which included a century and a fifty, at an average of 60.33.
He will be looking to maintain his momentum in the two-Test series against Sri Lanka, which begins on July 16 in Galle.
Pakistan squad for Sri Lanka Tests: Babar Azam (captain), Mohammad Rizwan (vice-captain, wicketkeeper), Abdullah Shafique, Azhar Ali, Faheem Ashraf, Fawad Alam, Haris Rauf, Hasan Ali, Imam-ul-Haq, Mohammad Nawaz, Naseem Shah, Nauman Ali, Salman Ali Agha, Sarfaraz Ahmed (wicketkeeper), Saud Shakeel, Shaheen Afridi, Shan Masood and Yasir Shah