Image taken by: Bimal Mirwani
AB de Villiers, the former South Africa cricketer, said Babar Azam is “here to stay”, even though he initially didn’t know much about the Pakistan captain.
De Villiers noted that he “hadn’t heard much of him” when Azam started making a name for himself, but quickly realised how talented the 28-year-old was.
Fast forward to today and the Lahore-born cricketer has established his reputation as one of the best batsmen in the world across all three formats.
“I met this guy when he was quite young, I didn’t know much of him, I hadn’t heard much of him at the time, but very, very quickly realised this guy’s here to stay,” De Villiers said in a video posted on X, formerly known as Twitter.
Azam recently amassed 76 runs in Pakistan’s two-Test series against Sri Lanka at an average of 25.33.
He subsequently went on to make 113 runs in three ODIs against Afghanistan, which included two half-centuries, at an average of 37.66.
His most recent assignment was the Asia Cup, where he accumulated 207 runs in five matches, which included a top score of 151, at an average of 51.75.
Pakistan started off their campaign with a huge 238-run win over Nepal before sharing one point apiece with India after their match was washed out.
Even though this occurred, the men in green advanced to the Super Four stage and defeated Bangladesh by seven wickets.
However, they lost their momentum after this as they lost to India by 228 runs and Sri Lanka by two wickets via the Duckworth–Lewis–Stern method (DLS) method, which led to them being eliminated from the Asia Cup.
Pakistan Squad for 2023 Asia Cup: Babar Azam (capt), Shadab Khan, Mohammad Rizwan (wk), Fakhar Zaman, Abdullah Shafique, Imam-ul-Haq, Saud Shakeel, Salman Ali Agha, Iftikhar Ahmed, Mohammad Nawaz, Usama Mir, Haris Rauf, Naseem Shah, Shaheen Shah Afridi, Mohammad Haris (wk), Faheem Ashraf, Mohammad Wasim Jnr, Shahnawaz Dahani, Zaman Khan.
Travelling reserve: Tayyab Tahir