news

Australians name Babar Azam in their ODI World XI

Babar Azam is currently the number 1 ODI batter in ICC rankings

Australians name Babar Azam in their ODI World XI PHOTO: AFP

Australian cricketers have hailed Pakistan's skipper Babar Azam as a cricketing sensation, unanimously including him in their One Day International (ODI) World XI. Azam's remarkable skill, versatility, and determination have earned him praise from notable Australian players, drawing comparisons to Indian maestro Virat Kohli.

Josh Hazlewood, the Australian fast bowler, acknowledged Azam's exceptional talent, highlighting his ability to thrive under pressure and compared him to Kohli. 

"He's [Babar] probably a little younger than other guys, he's sort of following the footsteps pretty quickly behind Virat. He's a few runs behind but again his numbers are unbelievable," Hazlewood said.

Addressing Azam's adaptability, Usman Khawaja, an Australian top-order batsman, spoke highly of Azam's prowess in both attacking and defensive situations. 

"He's got the innate ability. I've seen it where people bowling nice channel bowl and he sort of gets on top of it and smacks you through anywhere from mid-off through cover, through point. Alot of people trying to get ones off that ball but he just got these fast hands and smacks it and he finds gaps between the points and extra cover for four. Beautiful player of the ball, excellent player of spin. He's got all the attributes too. I couldn't put him on three because of Kohli so he slips down to four,"  Usman said.

Marnus Labuschagne, another Australian cricketer, emphasized Azam's unique style of play, describing his ability to force the ball down the ground effectively. 

"He's [Babar] got a bit of a lower bat. He sort of stands up on top of the ball, a little bit more and he hits quite straight and where you know Kohli and Steve can tend to hit a bit of square up. I think he forces the ball down the ground really well," Marnus said.

Azam's exceptional adaptability and high tempo gameplay have earned him admiration among Australian players. 

"He's so versatile. He plays a high tempo game naturally and having played against Babar, on wickets that don't bounce, you know when you are going to India for World Cup, there may not be too much bounce towards the back end, you almost feel like you don't hang him and get him out," Marnus further added.

Babar Azam is currently the number 1 ODI batter in ICC rankings with 5409 ODI runs to his name including 19 centuries and 28 half-centuries.