What’s the story?
Pakistan batsman Babar Azam has become the joint-fastest in the history of ODIs to score 1000 runs in the format. Azam moved to 1000 career runs in ODIs when he took a quick single off the bowling of James Faulkner and moved to 47 in the third ODI against Australia in Perth.
Also Read: Stats: Fastest to 1,000 ODI runs
Azam achieved this feat in just his 21st attempt and joined West Indian great Viv Richards, England batsmen Kevin Pietersen and Jonathan Trott and South Africa’s Quinton de Kock to become the joint fastest to score 1000 ODI runs.
In case you didn’t know...
Sir Vivan Richards became the fastest to score 1000 ODI runs in 1980 as he took just 21 innings to do so. It has been 37 years since then and several batsmen tried to surpass the West Indian batting legend but failed to reach the landmark in less than 21 innings.
He is also the only batsmen from the 20th century to reach the 1000-run mark in ODIs in 21 innings.
In 2006, Kevin Pietersen equalled Richards’ milestone, while his teammate Jonathan Trott and South Africa’s Quinton de Kock reached 1000 ODI runs in 2010 and 2014 respectively.
The heart of the matter
The Pakistani batsman entered the five-match series in Australia needing 114 runs in the first two matches to become the fastest to reach 1000 runs. But, the right-hander managed just 33 and 34 in the first two outings and fell short of 47 runs to break the 37-year-old record.
After equalling the record, Azam reached his sixth ODI fifty before he was dismissed for 84 off 100 balls when he holed out to debutant Peter Handscomb at deep mid-wicket off the bowling of Josh Hazlewood. In the 21 innings he has played so far, the 22-year-old has scored 1037 runs at an average of 51.85 with three centuries and six fifties.
At the end of 50 overs, Pakistan scored 263 for the loss of 7 wickets on a decent surface at the WACA and put the burden on the shoulders of their bowlers to take a 2-1 lead in the five-match series.
With the kind of potential that Azam has shown in his first few matches, the onus is on the team management to use him wisely in the format and the youngster is capable of ending his career as Pakistan’s best batsman in the format.
Unlike his cousins Kamran Akmal and Umar Akmal, Babar Azam has made his talent count and cemented his place in the Pakistani ODI team. If the performances in his first few innings are anything to go by, the right-hander could go on to break numerous records in the future.