Babar Azam has evolved from a promising young cricketer to a superstar and the captain of Pakistan since his debut in 2015. His path to success has been marked by remarkable performances in ICC tournaments, each revealing a different facet of his cricketing prowess.
Delving into the details of his performances, from the promising talent he showcased in the Champions Trophy 2017 to his blockbuster brilliance in the ODI World Cup 2019, and what we can anticipate from the skipper Babar Azam in the upcoming ODI World Cup 2023, here’s an overview of Babar Azam’s progress as a batter in ICC ODI events:
Champions Trophy 2017
In 2017, a young and budding Babar Azam showcased his potential during the Champions Trophy in England. He scored 133 runs in 5 matches with an average of 44.33 and a strike rate of 74.71.
Although he opened his campaign with a disappointing 8 runs against India in the first match, in a rain-affected game against South Africa, his unbeaten 31 not out was pivotal in Pakistan’s victory.
In the next game, Babar faced a tough challenge against Sri Lanka in the quarter-final, managing to score 10 runs in a crucial chase. His 38 not out against England in the semi-final helped Pakistan secure a spot in the final however, the highlight of his tournament was his 46 runs off 52 balls against India in the final, contributing significantly to Pakistan’s 338 and ultimately to the historic victory.
ODI World Cup 2019
The next ICC tournament was the ODI World Cup in 2019, and it was then that the cricketing world saw the dawn of Babar Azam as a batting sensation. This tournament was his breakthrough event, where he displayed remarkable consistency and adaptability as he amassed 474 runs in 8 matches, averaging an impressive 67.6 with a strike rate of 87.77.
In a challenging match against West Indies, he contributed 22 runs, though Pakistan faced a tough loss. In the next match, Babar’s 63 against England marked Pakistan’s first victory of the tournament. He added another 30 runs against Australia and 48 against India but Pakistan could not win these games.
Furthermore, his superb 69 against South Africa was not only instrumental in victory but also showcased his growing prowess. However, the unforgettable moment came when he scored an unbeaten 101 against New Zealand, keeping Pakistan’s hopes alive and making his dreams come true as the world acknowledged his brilliance.
Babar continued to impress throughout the tournament with 45 crucial runs against Afghanistan in another thrilling match and, in a late resurgence, he contributed 96 runs to help Pakistan defeat Bangladesh. While Pakistan were unable to qualify for the next round, Babar Azam’s consistent performances paved the way to the glory he has reached today.
ICC Tournaments and ODI Cricket
Comparing Babar Azam’s overall ODI career statistics to his performances in ICC events, a clear pattern of excellence emerges. In the broader context of ODI cricket, Babar has amassed an impressive 5,409 runs in 108 matches, maintaining an outstanding average of 58.16 and a decent strike rate of 89.12. This consistent performance is underpinned by his remarkable record of 19 centuries and 28 half-centuries.
Similarly, his performances in ICC events, such as the Champions Trophy in 2017 and the ODI World Cup in 2019, showcase his ability to elevate his game on the grandest stages. During these tournaments, he demonstrated both his adaptability and temperament, accumulating vital runs under high-pressure situations.
While his overall ODI statistics already position him as one of the premier batters in the world, it’s his ability to shine when it matters most in ICC events that cements his reputation as a truly exceptional cricketer.
This duality in his performance sets Babar Azam apart as a player who not only excels consistently but also rises to the occasion when the cricketing world is watching closely.
As we approach the ODI World Cup 2023, Babar Azam is facing a new challenge. While he has excelled in ICC events in England, the upcoming World Cup will be held in India, a place where he has never played before.
This presents a unique opportunity for him to prove himself on Indian soil, both as a batter and as the captain of Pakistan. It will be interesting to see how the seasoned Babar Azam adapts to this new setting and whether he can lead his team to success once again.
This tournament marks a different era for Babar Azam, and cricket fans worldwide eagerly await his performance on this grand stage.