The Pakistani captain Babar Azam recently reached a landmark in his career when he crossed Virat Kohli as the number one batsman in the ICC ODI rankings. The 26-year-old dethroned Kohli and ended his three years long reign from August 2017 to April 2021.
In the recently concluded series against South Africa (SA) he was the second highest scorer with a tally of 228 runs, his personal highest being 103.
In the past, he has also held the numero-uno position in T20Is rankings and the fifth spot in the Test rankings.
Speaking about his feat, the Lahore-born said that he feels privileged and honored to surpass Kohli and join the ranks of Zaheer Abbas, Javed Miandad, and Mohammad Yousuf, who had conquered the number one rank in ODIs for Pakistan.
“I feel privileged and honoured to have joined the company of stalwarts like Zaheer Abbas, Javed Miandad and Mohammad Yousuf, who will always be the shining stars of Pakistan cricket,” Azam said in an official Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) release.
In the same release, Azam added that this was another milestone in his career and it will require him to work harder and be more consistent to hold onto the spot for a long period of time.
“This is another milestone in my career, which will now require even more hard work and absolute consistency with the bat in order for me to hold on to the ranking for an extended period of time, like Sir Vivian Richards from January 1984 to October 1988 and Virat Kohli for 1,258 days” the 26-year-old remarked.
Talking about his ambition,the right-handed batsman told that he wants to achieve the same feat in Tests passing the likes of Kohli, Joe Root, Marnus Labuschagne, Steve Smith, and Kane Williamson. These players are currently ahead of him and he holds the sixth spot.
“I have also previously topped the T20I rankings, but the ultimate ambition and goal is to lead the Test rankings, which are the real testament and reward to a batsman’s calibre, reputation and skills,” Azam added.
The Karachi-cricketer also asserted that it was a special moment for him as Pakistan has become the first Asian side to win two ODI series in South Africa.
“But at this stage, I will savour the moment as it has come almost 18 months after I was first appointed the white-ball captain and that too at the back of my performances that helped Pakistan become the first Asian side to win two ODI series in South Africa,” Azam observed.
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