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Tuesday Apr 20 2021
Web Desk

Pak vs Zim: Babar Azam set to break T20I record set by Virat Kohli in upcoming series

Web Desk
Pakistan captain Babar Azam and India skipper Virat Kohli. Photo: Files

HARARE: After dethroning Virat Kohli from the number one spot in the ODI batting rankings, Pakistan skipper Babar Azam is all set to add another feather to his cap by being the fastest to 2,000 T20I runs. 

If the Pakistani skipper achieves the feat in the upcoming series against Zimbabwe, he become the 11th player to score 2,000 T20I runs.

"Babar, who last week was named the number-one ranked player in the ICC ODI Rankings, needs 60 more runs to break India’s Virat Kohli's record of fastest to 2000 T20I runs, which the Indian captain achieved in 56 innings," said the PCB in a statement.

Read more: Babar Azam topples Virat Kohli to become world's no 1 batsman

Currently, Azam has 1,940 runs under his belt at an impressive average of 48.50 from 49 innings. He is just 60 runs short of the 2,000 runs mark. Azam will be hoping to  score those runs in the first of the three-match T20I series against Zimbabwe that starts on Wednesday.

The batsman is enjoying a purple patch lately  and had recently hit his maiden T20I hundred in Pakistan’s nine-wicket win over South Africa in the third T20I at SuperSport Park last week.

He was also awarded with Player of the Series award for his 210 runs scored at an average of 52.50 in the four-match series.

"Babar’s captaincy has been on a constant improvement since last year series against Bangladesh. The men in green have won four T20I series (Bangladesh 2-0, Zimbabwe 3-0 and South Africa 2-1 at home and 3-1 away against South Africa) besides the 1-1 series draw against England, they are yet to lose a single T20I series," read the PCB statement.

Pakistan looking to narrow gap with Australia on T20I rankings

The PCB said Pakistan will be eyeing a whitewash to narrow the gap with third-placed Australia in the T20 rankings.

With the recently concluded series against South Africa, Pakistan gained two and consolidated their fourth position with 262 points on the ICC T20I rankings.

Currently, England are top with 272 points, followed by India (270) and Australia (267).

Read more: After testing COVID-19 negative, green shirts to start practice from today

"If Pakistan win all three matches against Zimbabwe, they will gain one point and narrow the gap with the third-ranked Australia to four points. Winning the series 2-1, will still keep them to fourth position but will cost them two points and take them down to 260," said the PCB.

However, if Zimbabwe white washes Pakistan then the visitors will be demoted and jointly share the fifth spot with New Zealand on 255 points. 

"On the contrary, if the hosts win the series or even a single match, they will climb one spot from 12th to 11th in the ICC rankings," said the PCB. 

Head to head

On the head to head chart, Pakistan have won all five bilateral T20I series against Zimbabwe. 

Read more: Bowling Coach Waqar Younis to be unavailable for Zimbabwe series

They have won all 14 T20I matches. Pakistan last visited Zimbabwe in July 2018, to feature in a tri-nation tournament involving Pakistan, Zimbabwe and Australia. 

Pakistan beat Australia by six wickets at the Harare Sports Club to win the tournament.