Gautam Gambhir, a former Indian opener, believes that Babar Azam, the captain of Pakistan, has all the qualities necessary to set the ICC World Cup 2023 on fire. Babar is currently the top-ranked ODI batsman in the world and the only batsman to feature in the top 10 of all three formats. He is ranked third in T20Is behind India’s Suryakumar Yadav and teammate Mohammad Rizwan, and fourth in Test rankings led by New Zealand skipper Kane Williamson.
Babar came into international cricket much later than Rohit Sharma, Virat Kohli, David Warner, Williamson, Joe Root, and Steve Smith, but he has made rapid strides to rise to their levels. In fact, many would argue that he has overtaken everyone and is now the current best batsman across formats. Gambhir is certainly a believer of that thought.
When asked to name the player he is most looking forward to seeing at the World Cup, Gambhir said, “Babar Azam.” He then named Kohli, Rohit, Warner, Root, and Williamson to state that Babar’s quality belongs to a different level.
“Babar Azam has every quality to set this World Cup on fire. I have seen very few players who have so much time. Yes, there are Rohit Sharma, Virat Kohli, David Warner, Kane Williamson, and Joe Root, but Babar Azam has a quality of a different level,” Gambhir said.
Babar Azam is expected to play a key role for Pakistan
Babar did not have the best of Asia Cups. He started off with a record 151-run knock against Nepal but did not manage to get a noteworthy score when it mattered the most in the Super 4 stage. It was one of the biggest reasons for Pakistan not make it to the final of the Asia Cup.
However, given the class that Babar Azam has, one should expect him to turn it around in the upcoming World Cup. This will be the second time he will spearhead Pakistan’s batting unit in the 50-over World Cup. He is much more experienced and well-suited now than he was four years ago, which means fans expect fireworks from the stylish right-hander’s bat.
Pakistan will play two warm-up matches against New Zealand and Australia before starting off their World Cup campaign against the Netherlands on October 6. The tournament begins with last year’s finalists England and New Zealand squaring off against each other a day earlier in Ahmedabad.