World Cup 2023: The cricketing world is no stranger to heated debates and comparisons between cricketers. Ahead of the much-anticipated World Cup 2023, former Indian champion Gautam Gambhir has expressed immense admiration for Pakistani skipper, Babar Azam.
Having clinched the World Cup twice for India in 2007 and 2011, Gambhir’s cricketing acumen and insights are held in high regard. Recently, in a chat on Star Sports, Gambhir delved deep into the talents of Babar Azam. Drawing parallels with some of the finest in the cricketing fraternity, including India’s Rohit Sharma and Virat Kohli, New Zealand’s Kane Williamson, and England’s Joe Root, he remarked, “Babar Azam has showcased exemplary performance. There are players, like Rohit Sharma, Kohli, Williamson, and Root, who appear to have abundant time at the crease. However, Babar’s skillset stands apart.”
World Cup 2023: Babar’s current form seems to substantiate Gambhir’s praises. In 2023 alone, the Pakistani maestro has notched up 745 runs in just 15 ODI innings, boasting an impressive average of 49.67, inclusive of two centuries and six half-centuries. Looking at the larger canvas of his ODI career, Babar’s record gleams with 5,409 runs from 108 matches at a staggering average of 58.16, peppered with 19 tons and 28 fifties.
While teams like Australia and England are pegged as the front runners for the World Cup title, Babar’s track record against these teams beams with promise. Against Australia, he’s accumulated 588 runs in 9 innings, averaging 73.50 with a strike rate of 91.73. This impressive tally consists of three centuries and two half-centuries. His performance against England is equally remarkable, with 816 runs in 19 innings, averaging 48 and a strike rate of 97.37, further embellished with two centuries and five half-centuries.
Yet, when it comes to arch-rivals India, Babar’s numbers dip slightly. In 6 innings, he’s managed to score 168 runs, averaging 28, and a strike rate standing at 72.41, devoid of any century or fifty.
While Babar’s potential to lead Pakistan to World Cup glory is undeniable, his performance against India, one of the major contenders, will be closely watched by cricket enthusiasts worldwide.