Image taken by: Bimal Mirwani
Pakistan spinner Shadab Khan said captain Babar Azam is “the kind of player who is always scoring runs”.
This ability has elevated Azam to be classified as one of the best batsmen in all three formats of the game as he regularly rescues Pakistan from precarious situations and has produced numerous match-winning knocks.
Shadab noted that the 28-year-old is able to do this due to the time he spends in the nets, where he practices hard and keeps middling the ball. Through the time he spends training and honing his skills, Azam is able to apply this in real matches and achieve incredible levels of success.
“Babar was definitely under pressure. He’s the kind of player who is always scoring runs. He middled the ball in the nets too,” he told Sky Sports as quoted by Cricwick.
Azam recently featured in the national team’s home series against New Zealand, which consisted of two Tests and three ODIs.
He scored 226 runs in the Test series, which included a top score of 161, at an average of 56.50.
As for the ODIs, he made 149 runs, which included two half-centuries, at an average of 49.66.
However, with the Test series ended as a 0-0 draw and New Zealand winning the ODI series 2-1, Azam could lose the captaincy in some formats as the Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) is reportedly interested in the idea of splitting the leadership role.
One name that has popped up is top order batsman Shan Masood, but it remains to be seen if he will ultimately succeed Azam as captain.
For the time being, Azam will lead the Peshawar Zalmi in the Pakistan Super League (PSL), which will take place in Pakistan from February 13 to March 19. All the matches are scheduled to be held in Karachi, Lahore, Multan and Rawalpindi.
He was traded to the Zalmi from the Karachi Kings in exchange for Pakistan power-hitters Haider Ali and Shoaib Malik.
Shadab, meanwhile, will captain Islamabad United in PSL 8.
The Zalmi will begin their campaign against the Kings on February 14, while Islamabad United will face the Kings on February 16.
Peshawar Zalmi Squad for PSL 8: Babar Azam, Rovman Powell, Bhanuka Rajapaksa (Sri Lanka), Mujeeb Ur Rehman, Sherfane Rutherford, Wahab Riaz, Arshad Iqbal, Danish Aziz, Mohammad Haris, Aamer Jamal, Tom Kohler-Cadmore, Saim Ayub, Salman Irshad, Usman Qadir, Haseebullah Khan, Sufyan Muqeem and James Neesham
Islamabad United Squad for PSL 8: Alex Hales, Rahmanullah Gurbaz, Shadab Khan, Asif Ali, Fazal Haq Farooqi, Mohammad Wasim Jr, Azam Khan, Faheem Ashraf, Hasan Ali, Abrar Ahmed, Colin Munro, Paul Stirling, Rumman Raees, Sohaib Maqsood, Hassan Nawaz, Zeeshan Zamir, Moeen Ali and Mubasir Khan