Sunday, December 10, 2023
Babar Azam is a classic batter and this is not just a mere opinion but a fact that Australian bowlers are testifying to.
In a new video released by Cricket Australia on Instagram, its bowling line-up is heard praising the former Pakistan captain ahead of the much-awaited Test series set to begin on December 14 in Perth, Australia.
"One of the world's best," the caption on Cricket Australia's video read, describing Babar's talent with the bat.
Aussie skipper Pat Cummins said the ex-Pakistan captain doesn't have too many weaknesses, has a pretty tight technique and can score all around the ground.
"So he's going to be hard work," he maintained.
According to Cummins, Babar is in the upper echelon of batters at the moment around the world. "So they're always satisfying if you get them out."
Fast bowler Josh Hazlewood called Babar a "class player".
"Has been for a long time. Sort of burst on the scene in ODI cricket and then changed his game to be strong in the Test arena as well," he said.
Babar, Hazlewood said, is a quality player. "If you miss, he hurts you and sort of tries to put that pressure back on you as a bowler."
The Aussie spin bowler Nathan Lyon said the Pakistani batter is "extremely talented".
"He's got beautiful hands when he bats. He scored some runs. I think it was Gabba's last time he was up here. You always want to compete against the best players in the world and he's definitely one of them," said Lyon, showering praises on the 29-year-old cricketer.
Fast bowler Mitchell Starc thinks Babar has a "great batting temperament".
"He's got all shots. He's someone who can build an innings or can be the ultra aggressive and take the game away and change the momentum."
Starc termed the former skipper as one of the "world's best"
"Hopefully we can keep him quiet on this tour," the Aussie pacer asserted.
The Men in Green will face Australia in a three-match Test series slated to start on December 14 in Perth at 7:20am PST.
Babar, meanwhile, won't be leading the team but will instead use his batting skills to knock off Australian pacers and spinners in the series.
Shan Masood will be captaining the Green Shirts after Babar stepped down as all-formats skipper last month in the wake of their failure to make the semi-finals of the 50-overs World Cup in India.
Whitewashed in each of their last five Test tours of Australia, optimism will be in short supply for Pakistan ahead of a three-match series starting in Perth next week, with Masood's task made even more difficult by a depleted bowling corps.
The last time Pakistan won a Test Down Under was in late 1995 when nearly half of the current side were not even born, and in Pat Cummins-led Australia, they face the reigning world Test champions.
Pakistan's unpredictability means they can never be ruled out but their chaotic buildup to the series makes the tourists tough to back in Australia.