Mushfiqur Rahim Profile | Career Info, Records Biography
Mohammad Babar Azam (Urdu: محمد بابر اعظم; born 15 October 1994) is a Pakistani cricketer who is the captain of Pakistan national cricket team in T20 International and vice-captain in One Day Internationals. He is currently ranked no.1 in T20Is, 3rd in ODIs and 7th in Test batsmen ranking.
He captained the Pakistan Under-19 cricket team at the 2012 ICC Under-19 Cricket World Cup. He is third joint-fastest to 1,000 ODI runs, second joint-fastest to 2,000 ODI runs and Third fastest to 3,000 ODI runs in the world, and the fastest Asian in the world to score 3,000 ODI runs (68 Innings). He holds the record of scoring most runs after first 25 ODI Innings by any batsman in the world. He also holds the record of scoring most runs in a 3-match ODI series.
In 2019 Cricket World Cup, he scored 474 runs in 8 matches at an average of 67.7 breaking the 27-year old record of Javed Miandad (437 runs in 1992), to become Pakistan's highest run scorer in a world cup.
In May 2015, Babar was included in the Pakistani ODI squad for home series against Zimbabwe. He made his ODI debut in the third ODI on 31 May and scored an impressive fifty scoring 54 runs off 60 balls. His impressive debut earned him a place in both Test and ODI squads selected for an away series against Sri Lanka. He couldn't get a chance in Test series. During the ODI series he could only score 37 runs in two matches that he played.
In October, he was dropped from the Test squad without playing a Test. He was retained in the ODI squad for the home series against England. In the first ODI of the four match series he scored 62 not out with a strike rate of 100 which helped Pakistan win the match. He had scores of 4, 22 and 51 in next three matches respectively. He finished the series with 139 runs at an average of 46.33.
In January 2016, Pakistan toured New Zealand. In the first ODI match, Babar scored 62 runs off 76 balls. Pakistan lost the match by 70 runs. The second ODI match was abandoned due to heavy rain. In the third ODI, he scored a brilliant 83 off just 77 balls. Despite Pakistan losing the match and the series, Babar was much praised by cricket experts. He was the leading run scorer in the ODI series with 145 runs in 2 innings at an average of 72.50.
In the five-match ODI series against England in July, he batted in five games and only scored 122 runs. Besides the England series, Pakistan played two match ODI series against Ireland. Babar scored 29 runs in the first match with the other ODI abandoned due to rain. Pakistan won the series 1–0.
Rise in shorter formats and breaking records
Babar Azam was selected in the home series against the West Indies. In the first match of the ODI series he scored his maiden international century, scoring 120 off 131 balls and winning his first man of the match award. In the second ODI he continued his excellent form, scoring another century, this time much quicker than the previous one, scoring 123 off 126 balls. His century enabled Pakistan to put a total over 330. Pakistan won the match and Babar got his second Man of the Match award. In the third and final ODI of the series Azam ended up scoring third consecutive century (117 from 106) and became the third batsman for Pakistan to score hundreds in three successive ODI innings. He also broke the record for scoring the most runs (360) in a three match ODI series. He became the only batsman to score 350+ runs in a three match ODI series.
He made his Test debut for Pakistan against the West Indies in Dubai on 13 October 2016 and scored 69 runs in his first innings. He was the first player to score a fifty on his Test debut through a day/night Test.
On 19 January 2017, in the third ODI against Australia, Azam became then joint-fastest player to score 1,000 runs in ODIs and then fastest for Pakistan in his 21st innings before his national record and world record were eclipsed by his compatriot Fakhar Zaman. He finished the ODI series as the leading run-scorer for Pakistan with 282 runs in 5 innings, including a century in 5th ODI, which was only the second century ever scored by a Pakistani batsman in Australia after Zaheer Abbas in 1981. He also entered the top 10 batsmen's ranking in ODIs for the first time ever.
Sarfaraz Ahmed replaced Azhar Ali as Pakistan's ODI team captain against the West Indies after Azhar Ali stepped down from the captaincy after a humiliating defeat against Australia in odi series. Azam was appointed as vice-captain in ODIs for the tour. He scored an unbeaten 125 in the 2nd ODI of the three–match ODI series at Providence Stadium, Guyana. Batting first, Pakistan was struggling at one stage and were 183 for 5. Azam along with Imad Wasim put on an unbeaten 99 runs partnership which helped Pakistan post a competitive total of 282 on the board. Meanwhile, Azam also broke the record of scoring the most runs after the first 25 ODI innings in this match. In the end Pakistan won the match easily. Azam for his match winning knock won the Man of the Match award. He had scores of 13 and 16 in first and third match of the series respectively. Pakistan won the ODI series 2–1.
In the Champions Trophy 2017, Azam scored a crucial 46 off 52 balls in the final match against India. Pakistan won the final match by 180 runs and lifted the Champions Trophy. It was Azam's first international tournament.
After a successful Champions trophy tour, ICC sent the World XI team in Pakistan where they played three T20I matches. Azam was the top runs-getter in the series, scoring 179. In the first T20I played at Gaddafi Stadium, Lahore, he scored 86 playing only 52 balls in the first T20 in the series, and won his first Man of the match award in T20I. Pakistan won the match by 20 runs.  He had scores of 45 and 48 in the next two fixtures.
In September 2017, he had a poor Test series against Sri Lanka, where he managed to score only 39 runs across 2 Test matches. However, he continued his dominance in LOIs and came back strongly in the ODI series, scoring consecutive centuries in first two ODIs of the five match series. In the second ODI he became the fastest batsman to score 7th ODI century in ODIs and the first batsman in ODI history to score five consecutive centuries in one country. He had scores of 30 and 69 (not out) in next two innings while chasing. He finished the series as the leading runs-scorer with 303 runs at an impressive average of 101. Pakistan whitewashed Sri Lanka (5–0).
He was the leading runs-scorer for Pakistan in 2016 in ODIs and T20Is with 872 and 352 runs respectively. At the 2017 PCB awards, he was awarded Pakistan's ODI Player of the year. He was also listed in 2017's ICC World ODI XI for the first time ever.
Pakistan's first assignment in 2018 was tour to New Zealand. Babar was an automatic selection in the ODI team. However he could score only 0, 10, 8, 3, 10 across 5 innings, scoring only 31 runs at an average of 6.2 as Pakistan were whitewashed 5–0. But performed well in the T20I series as Pakistan went on to win the series 2–1. Babar was the leading run scorer with 109 runs. He had scores of 41, 50* and 18 in these T20Is. He became the no.1 T20I batsmen, the second to reach the feat after Misbah-ul-Haq, but soon slipped to no. 3 position. He regained no. 1 spot in the rankings after a successful series against West Indies, who were touring Pakistan after thirteen years. He finished the series with most runs and winning Man of the series award as well, scoring 165 runs at an average of 82.50 and a strike rate of 148.64. His best performance came in the second T20I where he scored an unbeaten 97 runs which won him Man of the match award. He scored 17 and 51 in 1st and 3rd T20I respectively. Pakistan won the series 3–0.
During a Test match against England in May 2018, Azam was struck on the arm without padding by a bouncer from Ben Stokes, when he was batting on 68. After an X-ray examination, it was confirmed that Azam had a fracture in his left wrist with a broken forearm. As a result of this injury, he missed 4 to 6 weeks of cricket for rest and recuperation.
After fully recovering from his injury, he made his return to the side against Zimbabwe in July for a five-match ODI series. He performed well and managed to score 184 runs at an average of 184 in 4 innings including 76 balls 106 runs in the final odi of the series. Pakistan won the series 5-0.
In September 2018, he was selected for 2018 Asia Cup held in UAE. Playing his first Asia Cup, he didn't have a good time of it, only managing to score 156 runs at an average of 31.20 in 5 matches.
2019 Cricket World Cup
In April 2019, he was named in Pakistan's squad for the 2019 Cricket World Cup. The International Cricket Council (ICC) named him as one of the five exciting talents making their Cricket World Cup debut.
Just before the World Cup, Pakistan played against England in one-off T20I and 5-match ODI series to prepare for the tournament. In the T20I fixture he scored 65 from 42 balls before getting run-out. In the 5-match ODI series, he ended up as the joint leading runs-scorer, scoring 277 runs including a century and two half-centuries, going into the World Cup with runs under his belt. On 26 June 2019, in the match against New Zealand, Azam became the fastest batsman for Pakistan, in terms of innings, to score 3,000 runs in ODIs (68). In the same match, he also scored his 10th century in ODIs, finishing 101 not out, with Pakistan winning by 6 wickets. With this century, he also became the first middle-order batsman from Pakistan to hit a century in a World Cup match after 32 years. A week later, in the match against Bangladesh, Babar broke Javed Miandad's record of the most runs by a Pakistani batsman in a single edition of the World Cup, scoring 474 runs in 8 innings.
Test Performances and Leadership roles
In September 2019, before the home series against Sri Lanka, he was named as the vice captain of Pakistan cricket team in both ODIs and T20Is on the back of his consistent performances over the years in these formats.
After the first ODI was washed out, Pakistan managed to win both of the remaining matches to clinch the series 2-0. He scored his 11th ton in the second ODI and became the fastest Pakistani player to reach 1,000 ODI runs in terms of innings in a calendar year beating the previous record of Javed Miandad. He was named Man of the series for his 146 runs in 2 innings.
In the first Test of the series, he scored his second Test century against a strong bowling line up. He missed out on his second consecutive century when he got out on 97 in the second test match. He scored 210 runs with an average of 52.50.
In December 2019, Sri lanka returned to Pakistan for a two match test series. This marked the return of Test cricket in Pakistan after a decade, with Rawalpindi Cricket Stadium hosting the first test match. Babar batting in his first ever test inning on home soil, scored an unbeaten quick fire century on day 5 of the rain affected test match, resulting in a draw.  In the Second test match played at National Stadium, he scored 60 and 100 not out respectively, ending the series with 262 runs with an average of exactly 262. He was listed in 2019's ICC World ODI XI, making the list for the second time.
In January 2020, Bangladesh toured Pakistan for a three match T20I series, with Azam captaining Pakistan for the first time at home. Pakistan won the T20I series 2–0, with the third match abandoned due to rain. It was Pakistan's first series win under his captaincy and his first Player of the series award as captain.
Domestic and franchise cricket
Pakistan Super League
Babar was bought by Islamabad United in the first edition of Pakistan Super League (PSL) for US$25,000. During a group stage match he suffered a small injury which prevented him in taking any further part in the tournament. Before the 2017 PSL draft he moved to Karachi Kings from Islamabad United; he was bought for US$50,000. He performed well in the 2nd season, scoring 291 runs with an average of 32.33 and finishing the tournament as the second leading runs-scorer behind his cousin Kamran Akmal. He was retained by the Kings for the 3rd season in the 2018 PSL draft in the Diamond category, earning between US$70,000 to US$85,000. Babar was the third-highest runs-scorer in the season, leading runs-scorer from his team, scoring 402 runs in 11 innings with an average of 40.20 at a strike rate of over 122 with 5 fifties. His team finished 3rd in the season.
Ahead of the 2019 players draft, he was retained by Kings in the Platinum category, moving up from the Diamond category from the last season. He scored 335 runs at an average of 30.45, with 3 fifties across 11 matches and finished as 2nd leading runs-scorer for the team behind Colin Ingram.
Somerset signed Babar to join the squad for 2019 t20 Blast series. His team didn't made it to the quarter-finals but he performed well and scored 578 runs in 13 matches with four half-centuries and one century with an average of 52.54 becoming the highest scorer of the tournament. In January 2019, it was announced that Babar will rejoin Somerset for 2020 t20 Blast for a total of 12 fixtures for the side.
In September 2019, Babar was named as the captain of Central Punjab for the 2019–20 Quaid-e-Azam Trophy tournament. His team went on to win the trophy after defeating Northern in the final.
National T20 Cup
Records and achievements
- Third joint-fastest in the world to reach 1,000 ODI runs. (21 innings)
- Second joint-fastest in the world to reach 2,000 ODI runs. (45 innings)
- Third fastest in the world and fastest Asian to reach 3,000 ODI runs. (68 innings)
- Second fastest batsman in the world to reach 5th ODI hundred (25 Innings).
- Fastest to 7th ODI hundred (33 Innings).
- Second fastest to 8th ODI hundred (44 Innings).
- Third fastest batsman in the world to reach 6th ODI hundred (32 Innings), 9th ODI hundred (61 Innings), 10th ODI hundred (68 Innings), and 11th ODI hundred (71 Innings).
- Second youngest cricketer to score three consecutive ODI hundreds.
- Only batsman in ODI history to score 5 consecutive centuries in one country.
- Most runs (1306) in first 25 ODIs innings by any batsman in the world.
- Fastest in the world to reach 1,000 T20I runs. (26 innings)
- Most runs by a Pakistani batsman in a single 50-over World Cup edition. (474 runs in 2019 WC)
- Fastest Pakistani batsman in terms of innings (19 innings) to 1,000 ODI runs in a calendar year.
- Most runs in a calendar year / series
- Most ODI runs in 2016 by a Pakistani cricketer.
- Most ODI runs in 2017 by a Pakistani cricketer.
- Most ODI runs in 2019 by a Pakistani cricketer.
- Second most T20I runs in 2017 and most by a Pakistani batsman.
- Second most T20I runs in 2018 by a Pakistani batsman.
- Most Test runs in 2018 by a Pakistani batsman.
- Most Test runs in 2019 by a Pakistani batsman.
- Most runs (360) scored in a three-match ODI series.
- Most runs in an ODI series against WI by a Pakistani cricketer.
- Most runs in a T20I series against WI by a Pakistani cricketer.
- Most runs (179) in a 3 match T20I series by a Pakistani cricketer and second most in the world.
- Second most runs (179) scored by a Pakistani cricketer in a T20I bilateral series (3 matches).
As of December 2019, Babar has scored 4 Test and 11 ODI centuries.
- PCB's ODI Player of the year: 2017
- ICC World ODI XI: 2017
- PCB's T20I Player of the year: 2018
- ICC World ODI XI: 2019
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| Pakistani national cricket captain (T20I)|