There is no doubt that Pakistan captain Babar Azam is one of the finest batters in all formats of the game. Babar has now given great account of himself as a leader by guiding his side into the T20 World Cup 2021 semifinal with an unbeaten record in the Super 12 stage.
The Pakistan skipper is just behind England’s Jos Buttler in the run-scoring charts in the tournament, notching up 264 runs in five games at an excellent average of 66 and with four fifties in five innings to his name. Former India captain and opener Sunil Gavaskar believes that if Babar Azam keeps himself fit and motivated, he will end up as one of the greatest players of all time by the ends of his career.
Babar Azam’s Pakistan are ready to take on Australia in the second semifinal of the T20 World Cup in Dubai on Thursday (November 11). “Pakistan have always been a mercurial side with some of the most naturally talented cricketers in the game. What has pulled them back is an excitable temperament,” Gavaskar wrote in a Khaleej Times column.
“This time with Babar Azam leading them they are a lot calmer and a lot more game aware team. There is no doubt that Babar if he keeps himself fit and motivated is going to become one of the all time greats of the game. What he can become is also one of the greatest captains that Pakistan has produced,” he added.
Gavaskar believes that Babar, who averages 42.94 in Tests, 56.92 in ODIs and 48.39 in T20s, has a great understanding of the game. “His reading of the game situation is brilliant and the changes that he has been making with the bowling and field placing have been unbelievably accurate.
“The variety he has at his disposal in bowling means that at no time is he going to be a bowler short and that for any captain is a huge plus. They need to take the early wickets for if the Finch-Warner duo get going then it will be tough to stop the Aussies,” he added.
— Pakistan Cricket (@TheRealPCB) November 11, 2021
Gavaskar went on to write that Australia, the team with more World Cup trophies than any other country, would want to emulate that success in the shorter format, where they are yet to win the elusive Cup. Australia’s best effort in the tournament history has been their 2010 runners-up finish.
“The one Cup that is missing from Cricket Australia’s Trophy cabinet is the ICC Men’s Twenty20 World Cup and they will be desperate to bring that back from UAE,” Gavaskar wrote.