Saturday 10, December 2022

Babar dreams to be number 1 batter in all formats

News Desk: Babar Azam said he aspires to be the number one ranked batter in all formats of cricket as he tries to match Dinesh Karthik's call that the Pakistan captain can create history.

Veteran India batter-keeper Karthik was speaking on The ICC Review when he tipped Babar to become the first player to be ranked the No.1 batter in all three formats.

Babar is currently the No.1 batter in the MRF Tyres ICC ODI and T20I rankings, while he is a career-high No.5 in Tests behind Marnus Labuschagne, Steve Smith, Kane Williamson and Joe Root.

"As a player, it's a dream to become the No. 1 in all formats and, for that, you have to focus and put in hard work. It's not like if you are the top player in one or two formats, you go easy," Babar said.

"If you are to become No.1 in all three, you have to keep yourself fit and on track. There is back-to-back cricket and the gap is less. For that, you need to be extra fit.

"It's something I am preparing for. It's going well in white-ball and hopefully, I will be able to do well in Tests too."

Babar was speaking ahead of the rescheduled Pakistan and West Indies ODI series to be played on 8, 10 and 12 June.

The three ODIs were postponed last December due to a Covid-19 outbreak in the West Indies camp following their T20I series.

Pakistan claimed a 3-0 clean sweep in those T20Is and continued their strong white-ball form with a 2-1 ODI series win at home against Australia.

Babar was the star of the three ODIs against Australia with two tons and a half-century as he averaged 142.5 and scored at a strike rate of 116.8.

"As a team, as a captain, you go into the series thinking about a clean sweep, whoever the opponent is," Babar said.

"We went with the same thought against Australia, to play tough cricket and dominate. The intent is the same against West Indies, but it's not like we are underestimating them.

"They also have the capacity to give you a tough time as, on the day, they are a dangerous team. You can't take them easy."

The Pakistan and West Indies ODIs will be played in Multan with matches starting at 4pm local time to avoid the worst of the extreme heat.

The three ODIs are part of the Super League with both teams chasing crucial points to earn a top-eight finish and automatically qualify for the Cricket World Cup 2023, with West Indies currently in sixth place and Pakistan tenth.


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