By: Gul Afroz Soomro
The news is a source of great pride and expansion for the nation, especially for Pakistani cricket fans, that 21-year-old Babar Azam not only won the ODI series in South Africa as captain but also made a name for himself at the international level. In the rankings, India’s Virat Kohli’s rule ended and he was crowned number one. Thus, in the ICC ODI International rankings, he is at the top with 865 points while Kohli came second with 857 points. Babar Azam is the fourth Pakistani in the history of ODIs to receive the award. Earlier, Zaheer Abbas in 1983, Javed Mian Dad in 1987 and Mohammad Yousuf in 2003 had secured the first position in the ICC ODI International Rankings. Babar Azam scored a stunning century in the T20 match against him at his home ground in Centurion, South Africa on Wednesday, setting more than one record for himself and the nation, including the top scorer of 122 runs which any Pakistani in the T20 International The batsman has the biggest innings. Secondly, it proved to be the biggest innings in a short format against South Africa. Babar Azam formed a 197-run partnership with Mohammad Rizwan, Pakistan’s largest partnership on any wicket in the T20 International. In this match, Pakistan achieved the target of 205 runs for the loss of one wicket in 18 overs. The fourth and final match of the series will be played today on the same ground for which Pakistan will have to defend its performance. Furthermore, the performance of Pakistani bowlers in the Centurion match, which has been imperative, needs to be improved.