Image taken by: Bimal Mirwani
Wasim Akram, the iconic Pakistan swing specialist, has classed captain Babar Azam as “one of the modern-day greats.”
Many former and current cricketers share the same view as Wasim since Azam scores runs consistently for the men in green in all three formats.
What makes the 28-year-old’s efforts more special is the fact that he leads from the front while having the added pressure of the captaincy on his shoulders.
With the 2023 ICC Cricket World Cup right around the corner, Wasim noted that Pakistan “have a good side” and admitted that the event will put Azam’s leadership skills to the test.
The men in green have only won the 50-over World Cup once, which was back in 1992 when Imran Khan was captain. It should be noted that Wasim was named Man of the Match in the final against England as he smashed 33 runs off 18 balls before finishing with figures of 3-49 off his 10 overs.
“We have a good side…a very good one-day side and are led by one of the modern-day greats in Babar Azam,” he told the International Cricket Council (ICC).
Azam has been in solid form lately as he amassed 76 runs in two Test matches against Sri Lanka at an average of 25.33.
He then proceeded to score 113 runs in a three-match ODI series against Afghanistan, which included two fifties, at an average of 37.66.
Recently, he led the men in green in the Asia Cup, where he made 207 runs in five matches, which included a top score of 151, at an average of 51.75.
Pakistan began their Asia Cup campaign with a brutal 238-run win over Nepal before sharing one point apiece with India after their match was washed out.
Having booked their ticket to the Super Four stage, the men in green kept on rolling as they thrashed Bangladesh by seven wickets.
However, their strong start was brought to an abrupt halt when India annihilated them by 228 runs.
Despite this, Pakistan still had a chance to qualify for the Asia Cup final when they faced Sri Lanka, but they ended up losing that game by two wickets via the Duckworth–Lewis–Stern method (DLS) method.
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