Babar Azam
Babar Azam (PC-AP)

With the side suffering a humiliating whitewash at home against England, which ultimately led to the departure of Ramiz Raja as PCB chairman and the Muhammad Wasim-headed selection committee, it hasn’t been the best of times for Pakistan cricket and for skipper Babar Azam.

The effectiveness of Babar’s leadership was also questioned. But he responded to the naysayers with a magnificent century on the opening day of the first Test against New Zealand in Karachi. 

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Babar Azam (PC-AFP)
Babar Azam (PC-AFP)

Babar Azam Breaks Record Of Most Fifty-plus Scores In A Calendar Year

On Monday, Pakistan got off to a terrible start, losing three wickets for just 48 runs in 15 overs. Although Saud Shakeel appeared to be putting up some resistance, Tim Southee promptly ended his 62-run partnership with Babar. 

Pakistan needed a partnership badly, but their captain in particular needed to stand up. Babar was not only helped by the previous skipper Sarfaraz Ahmed, who was playing in his first Test in nearly four years since his last game against South Africa in 2019, but he also fought hard against the New Zealand assault to record his ninth Test century. 

Babar Azam and Sarfaraz Ahmed (PC-AP)
Babar Azam and Sarfaraz Ahmed (PC-AP)

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He broke Ricky Ponting’s record for the most fifty-plus scores in a calendar year in international cricket with the fine hundred. Ponting’s 2005 achievement of 24 such scores persisted for 17 long years before Babar surpassed the mark in Karachi by recording his 25th fifty-plus score. Eight hundreds and 17 fifties are included in the total.

Babar Azam Joins The List Of Legendary Batters After Scoring Eighth Century Of The Calendar Year

The West Indies icon Brian Lara, Australian Steve Smith, Mahela Jayawardene, and Graeme Smith were all surpassed by him on the record of captains with the most international hundreds in a calendar year with these eight centuries. Babar’s accomplishment of eight centuries in 2022 ranks him third on the all-time list. 

Babar Azam (PC-AFP)
Babar Azam (PC-AFP)

With this inning, Babar Azam also became the highest test run-getter in 2022 and his overall tally of 2542 runs across the three formats this year is the most by any Pakistan batter as he went past former cricketer and team’s present batting coach Mohammad Yousuf. 

Also Read: PAK vs NZ: Pakistan Creates Unwanted Record During 1st Test, First Two Batters Stumped By Wicket-keeper For The First Time Ever In Cricket History

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