Australia are set to lock horns against Pakistan at the Gabba in Brisbane from 21st of November. The Test series will witness Steve Smith and David Warner play their first Test in Australia in more than a year. However, former Australian captain Ricky Ponting has singled out Babar Azam as the batsman to watch out for in the upcoming Test series.
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The 25-year old averaged a mere 11.33, scoring 68 runs in three Tests, the last time he played a series in Australia. While the elegant right-hander is one of the most accomplished batsmen in limited-overs cricket, in 21 Tests, Babar averages only 35.28. Nevertheless, the number one T20 batsman cracked a century against Australia A in one of the two practice games prior to the Test series.
Ricky Ponting feels that it is only a matter of time before the Pakistan batsman becomes a gun batsman in all the formats of the game. The Tasmanian is confident that the world is yet to see the best of Babar Azam and is excited to see him play down under. The prolific run-scorer remains firm that Babar is much better than what his numbers in Test cricket spells.
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“We haven’t seen the best of him yet. Twenty-odd Tests for an average of 35 – he’s better than that. He averages 54 in one-day cricket at a strike-rate of about 90. He’s a very, very classy player. He’s a really exciting talent and probably the guy I’m looking forward to seeing the most this summer. I’ve seen the Aussies a lot and I’ve seen a lot of the Kiwis, but I’m really excited to see him. He could be anything.” Ponting said as quoted by cricket.com.au.
Ponting in awe of Babar Azam’s World Cup knock against Australia
Although Babar couldn’t play a match-winning knock to guide Pakistan to a win against Australia in their World Cup game in Taunton, Ponting was impressed with his brief cameo. The 44-year old was left amazed with the way he latched on to the Australian bowlers’ ever-changing lengths. He played seven crisp shots for seven boundaries in his knock of 28-ball 30 before getting dismissed by a bouncer from Nathan Coulter-Nile.
“He looked like he was playing a different game. As soon as we over-pitched, he banged it through the covers or banged it down the ground. And when we dropped short, he got onto that pretty quickly as well.” Ponting added further.
The first Test begins in Brisbane from 21st of November with the second Test scheduled on 28th of November in Adelaide.