1. What is FAB?
Currently, in the World of Cricket, the game batsmen ruled the game of cricket considering the interests of people towards T20 or T10 Cricket. Well, that is mostly because of the power-hitting factor. So, that’s why only the batsmen are in the FAB factor. We consider the batsmen which rule the entire game of cricket across all three formats of the game in the FAB Club
We’ve all known the current Fab 4 of the game of cricket: Steve Smith, Virat Kohli, Kane Williamson, Joe Root. They all bat at the same position in every format like Steve Smith, Virat Kohli, Kane Williamson, Joe Root they all bat at no.3 in both ODIs and T20s and no.4 in Tests. But I’ll convince you guys on the base of facts, WHY BABAR AZAM SHOULD BE THE PART OF FAB 4 and make it a FAB 5 club.
3. Facts and Figures
While we know Steve Smith is the modern-day Don Bradman because of his consistent performances in Test Cricket. Virat is equally brilliant in ODIs and T20s. Same as Kane Williamson and Joe Root in ODIs and Test Cricket. However, Joe Root seems to face issues in finding form with the bat, but no doubt he’s still a game saver. But we’ve all been missing one place here, of Babar’s Azam.
Starting with ODIs, Babar Azam made his debut in 2015 as an ODI player. And from 2016 against West Indies in UAE, he started his career in truly means of consistent performances by smashing 3 consecutive centuries. A Classy and an Elegant Right Hander with a classic batting style of leading the innings right from the beginning till the end. Now I know West Indies is not the team against which you measure the skills of a batsman.
So, in 2017, Babar knocked an 84 runs innings against Australia in WACA Ground and then a 100 in the same series at Adelaide Oval. Now we know WACA has one of the fastest bowling tracks, so it’s a pretty good scale to measure a batsman skill. Then a 125 not-out innings against West Indies in WI. Following by two more century scores of 103 and 101 against Srilanka in UAE.
In the year 2018, Babar posted a single century in the entire year, and that was against Zimbabwe. The year 2018 wasn’t a great one for him comparing to 2017 or 2016, but he got 92 runs to score against New Zealand in Dubai at the end of the calendar year 2018. It wasn’t long that cricketing experts notice him as the modern-day great of the Pakistan Cricket Team. But this was not enough.
In the year 2019, during the World Cup Babar Azam scored 474 runs in 8 matches with an average of 67.71 and at a Strike Rate of 87.61. Now, keep in mind this was the first World Cup he played (excluding the U-19). These include One Century against New Zealand (Probably the best one of him) and three 50+ Scores.
Moving onto the T20s, Babar Made his T20 Internationals Debut in 2016 against England. He started as One Down Player in T20s, but now he is opening the innings for Pakistan Cricket Team. He’s the fastest to reach 1000 T20 runs with a Strike Rate of 127.93. Currently, he has 1548 runs in 40 innings (41 matches) with 9 not outs to his name, has only one duck and fourteen 50+ scores. Currently, he has no international centuries but recently he scored 4 centuries overall in domestic T20s. He was the leading run-scorer in the 2019 Vitality Blast.
Babar Azam took a little time to get used to the Red Ball Cricket. In 2016 he has few noticeable scores like 69 against West Indies and 90 not out against New Zealand. Similarly, in the year 2017, he scored 72 and 55 runs in a series against West Indies. He’s still finding his form with the Red Ball Cricket. In the year 2018, he scored 59 against Ireland and 69 not out against England. Following by 99 runs to score against Australia and 62 runs against New Zealand in Sheikh Zayed Cricket Stadium.
It wasn’t long before he understood the Red Ball Cricket and scored his first-ever century against New Zealand (127 runs, not-out innings). Following 51 runs to score in the same series. Then in South Africa when Babar Azam smashed Dale Steyn all over the park before getting out on 71 runs. I remember Mark Nicholas’s Word:
This is batting of the highest quality, it could be Kohli or it could be de Villiers, such is the command
In the Calendar year 2019, Babar scored 72 runs in the same South Africa series. Then moving to Australia series where he knocked his 2nd Century scoring 104 runs in Brisbane and following by a 97 runs innings in Adelaide Oval. Then 100 runs not-out innings against Srilanka in Karachi, following by a 60 runs innings and another 102 runs not-out innings in Karachi.
Lastly, in the year 2020, he scored 143 runs against Bangladesh in Karachi before the COVID pandemic disturbs the whole cricket environment. Now when the Cricket resumed, he scored 69 runs at Old Trafford and 63 runs not out at Rose Bowl against England.
Virat Kohli is the greatest player of the current era across all three formats, but Babar Azam is not so far behind. He is 25, and having these kinds of stats at 25 is worth mentioning. I don’t remember Virat or Steve Smith having these kinds of stats at 25 (Not criticizing both of them). Steve Smith delivers almost whenever his team needed it. So is Virat. The same goes for Kane Williamson but Babar should be after Virat Kohli if not above Kohli considering his stats and success across all three formats.