Babar Azam has remained one of the most consistent batsmen for Pakistan in limited-overs cricket. His recent performances have finally drawn a comparison with the likes of Steve Smith, Virat Kohli and Kane Williamson – the top three.
The top-order batsman made a remarkable impact after he was signed by Somerset to play the Vitality Blast T20. He opened the innings for the team and ripped apart the opposition. During his recent stint there, he became the only Pakistani to ever score 500+ runs in a T20 tournament. The previous record was set by Ahmed Shehzad in 2012 when he featured in Bangladesh Premier League (BPL) and scored 486 runs.
During 2019, Babar also reached the 4,000 runs milestone in the T20 format and became only the 8th Pakistani ever to do so. Others include Shoaib Malik (8,701), Ahmed Shehzad (5,720), Kamran Akmal (5,688), Mohammad Hafeez (5,495), Umar Akmal (5,430), Shahid Afridi (4,175), and Azhar Mahmood (4,091).
An impressive performance in Vitality Blast helped Babar Azam to register a record for Pakistan – scoring the most runs in a calendar year for Pakistan in T20s.
He has surpassed the previous record of Umar Akmal who had scored 1386 runs in 2016. Babar Azam currently has 1409 runs and still has two more months until the year is concluded.
Here is a list of where Babar Azam stands in the list of most T20 runs scored in a calendar year.
Here is a brief look at Babar Azam’s record-breaking year for Pakistan’s T20 cricket:
Breakdown of a World-Record Breaking Year
When Babar Azam started his Pakistan Super League (PSL) 2019 campaign, it was evident that he will have a strong year. Barring a few performances, he excelled in terms of being a more aggressive player. A player often shrugged off as a potential star was finally starting to deliver.
When he played for Somerset, that’s when everything came together for Babar. He scored a total of 578 runs in 13 innings and finished as the highest run-getter in the tournament, despite the fact that well-renowned hitters were also part of the event; Babar outshined every single one of them by a handsome margin.
Here are Babar’s 1409 runs broken down by runs scored in each tournament:
Babar has also scored 3 centuries in the T20 format this year, the most by a Pakistani and second only to Virat Kohli, who holds the world record with 4 hundreds in a calendar year. Babar now stands alongside who has also achieved the feat thrice in his T20 career.
There’s still more from Babar as he has only played 3 matches in the ongoing National T20 Cup so far. With a minimum of 2 and a maximum of 4 matches to go, Babar Azam has the chance to score 257 more runs and overtake the West Indian legend as the leading run-scorer in a calendar year.
The PCB has already named Babar as the T20I captain, adding more responsibility on the shoulders of the world’s highest-ranked T20I player. It’s hoped that Babar will continue to set an example for others and solidify himself as Pakistan’s most reliable batsman across all formats.