Pakistan captain Babar Azam is widely regarded as one of the best batsmen in modern-day cricket. Babar, who opens for the side in the limited-overs formats, is the top-ranked ODI batter and placed third in T20Is. He is only behind England’s Joe Root and Australia’s Marnus Labuschagne in the Test rankings as well, affirming his domination in all formats of the game. Babar is drawn appreciation from players and former crickets alike across the world, and India’s batting great Sunil Gavaskar also voiced his appreciation for the Pakistan captain, making a huge remark on his batting abilities.
Gavaskar met Babar and other members of the Pakistan team days before the start of the T20 World Cup, and the former India captain revealed what he told the Pakistan skipper.
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“I told him about the two shots he played against South Africa couple of years ago against Nortje. He was bowling at 150kmph in Karachi, and he punched off the backfoot between mid-on and midwicket. That is some shot. You can use the pace and play it through square leg and fine leg. You can use the pace and flick it around, but those shots were of a player with enormous quality and class,” Gavaskar said on Star Sports.
The India great, then, went on to draw Babar’s comparison with India’s legendary former batter Sachin Tendulkar, stating that the two shots reminded him of the ‘master blaster’.
“I first saw that in Sachin Tendulkar when I went to see him nets, playing against Kapil Dev and Raju Kulkarni. Little bit of Sachin Tendulkar there. I was like, ‘oh wow, that was something special’. That was the same feeling when I saw his shots,” said Gavaskar.
“I remember sending a message to Ramiz Raja, ‘this guy is really special, but he’s scoring only 60 and 70. He needs to score hundred if he wants to be considered among the greats’. I don’t know if that message was passed on, but someone from that group said, ‘yes, look he’s now scoring hundreds’. Now, he is counted among the greats!”