Has Babar Azam done justice to his talent?
In this modern generation, cricket has witnessed several great cricketers who have justified their talents, establishing themselves as valuable members of their teams. On the other hand, there have also been a few cricketers who are believed to possess a lot of talent but haven't been able to justify them convincingly.
One such cricketer is Pakistan's Babar Azam. Azam is already being compared with a cricket superstar like Virat Kohli, thanks to his good performances against weak teams early in his career.
Here are some statistics of Babar Azam's international career which prove that he hasn't provided justice to his skills and talents yet.
Pakistan play a lot of their matches against weaker teams. In those series, several records are broken and created by them. But, when it comes to top teams, both Pakistan and Babar Azam have been poor performers.
In the 27 innings he has played in Test cricket, he has scored just 648 runs at a poor average of 28.17. Azam is yet to score a century in the format. Filtering his performances against Australia, England, and Sri Lanka, he averages just 18.81 after 13 innings.
Babar Azam has already registered his sixth duck in just his 28th Test innings in the second Test against Australia.
Out of his 2129 runs in ODI cricket, 1164 runs have come against teams like Hong Kong, Ireland, Sri Lanka, West Indies, and Zimbabwe, at a staggering average of 77.60. The remaining 965 runs have come against strong ODI teams, at an average of 37.11, consisting of just a century and six half-centuries.
Babar Azam's only century versus top teams (Australia) came in a losing cause. Pakistan were chasing a target of 370 runs set by the Aussies. Even while chasing such a huge total, Babar Azam maintained a strike rate of under 100 (91.74) in his 100-run knock. Though was the top scorer and didn't get great support from the other end, he never looked threatening to the opposition and didn't show any intent to win.
In fact, none of Babar Azam's centuries have come at a strike rate of above 100, not even against weaker teams.
In his 49 ODI innings, he has scored just 21 sixes, which is the least for any batsman who has scored more than 2000 ODI runs, since 2000.
Babar Azam hasn't won even a single 'Man of the Match' or 'Man of the Series' award versus the top 6 teams in any formats of the game.
Similarly, Babar Azam has not won a single Man of the Match award in Test cricket, against any opposition.
In the 'Pakistan vs New Zealand' 5-match ODI series held in New Zealand, Azam managed to score just 31 runs at an average of 6.20, without scoring more than 10 in each innings throughout the series.
In Europe, where has played 11 ODI innings, Babar Azam hasn't scored a single fifty so far.
Babar failed miserably in his last Test series in Australia, where he managed just 66 runs in the 6 innings he batted in.
He hasn't made a remarkable contribution to the team in multinational tournaments, as he has just one score of fifty or more out of his ten innings.
Babar Azam may be a skillful talent who hasn't been in good touch, but his fans have already started comparing him with some ODI greats, including Virat Kohli. Thus, if he wants to be the fans' favourite, he should come up with better performances across all the formats in the future ahead.