In 2022, Babar amassed 1,184 Test runs at a tick under 70
ICC Hall of Famer Ricky Ponting heaped praise on Babar Azam and is looking forward to what’s in store for the Pakistan captain in future.
Babar took out both the major men’s cricket award, the Sir Garfield Sobers Trophy, as well as the Men’s ODI Cricketer of the Year in the 2022 ICC Awards, beating competitive fields in both categories.
Speaking on The ICC Review, Ponting said that he is scared by the thought of what Babar can achieve going forward.
Babar’s numbers are excellent reading across all three international formats. In 2022, Babar amassed 1,184 Test runs at a tick under 70, 679 at 85 in ODI cricket, and led his side to the T20 World Cup semi-final in Australia, making 735 runs at a strike rate of 123 across the year in T20I play.
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For many, those figures would be the ceiling but Ponting thinks there’s more to come.
“He’s probably not (at his peak). Most batters come into their prime in the start of their early thirties,” he said.
“You’re sort of working on your game and improving your game right through to a certain point. And that for most guys is it. You look at where Steve Smith and (David) Warner and those guys have been. Steve Smith is probably playing as well as he’s ever played now, along with guys like Kane Williamson as well in their early thirties.
“So I think Babar’s still got a little bit of improvement to come, which is a pretty scary thought with what he’s been able to do, pretty much across all three formats over the last three, four years. I love watching him play. I think there’s some room for improvement, let’s hope we see it.”