"Joe Root was facing the same issue" - Mudassar Nazar urges Babar Azam to improve his conversion rate in Test cricket

Pakistan v England - First Test Match: Day Three
Babar Azam. (Image Credits: Getty)

Former Pakistan opener Mudassar Nazar reckons Babar Azam must score more centuries to establish his legacy in Test cricket. The former head coach observed that the skipper often struggles to convert his starts into hundreds.

The Pakistan captain has so far played 47 Tests, managing nine hundreds in 85 innings. The 28-year-old scored only two centuries in ten innings in the recent home season against New Zealand and England. His best of 196 came against Australia in Karachi when the hosts desperately needed a match-saving knock.

Speaking to Cricket Pakistan, Nazar recalled how Joe Root also struggled to convert his fifties into three figures before working on it. He feels the Pakistan captain must do the same, saying:

"If Babar continues to score runs in Test cricket like he does in ODIs, then he will be considered among the greats of the game. It is often seen that after scoring a fifty in Test cricket, he fails to convert it into a century. Joe Root was facing the same issue but he worked on it. Babar needs to focus on doing the same thing."

The 66-year-old has backed the right-hander to become the greatest batter Pakistan has produced if the PCB keeps supporting him. He continued:

"Babar is only 28 years old. The rate at which he is going, he would end up as one of the best Pakistan batsmen ever, but for that, he needs to be more focused. He also needs proper backing and support from PCB."

Babar's captaincy credentials have come into question following a string of losses on home soil. Under him, the Men in Green recently endured a winless home season and became the first Pakistan side to suffer a Test series sweep at home.

Babar Azam wins the ICC Men's Cricketer of the Year Award

(Image Credits: Getty)
(Image Credits: Getty)

The Lahore-born cricketer had a stellar 2022 in ODI and Test cricket, winning the ICC ODI Player of the Year award and bagging the Sir Garfield Sobers Trophy for ICC Men's Cricketer of the Year.

The ICC also named him the captain of the ODI Team of the Year for 2022 and finished as the highest run-getter in Tests with 1184 runs in nine matches at 69.64.

On winning the award, he said in a video released by the PCB:

"It is an honor for me to win this award. I can’t express my happiness in words because I’m now part of an elusive list of legends who have won this award. My family, teammates and fans deserve credit for this award since they have always supported me."

The star batter will next feature in the eighth edition of the Pakistan Super League (PSL), leading the Peshawar Zalmi.

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Edited by Ritwik Kumar