Sunil Gavaskar column: If Babar keeps himself fit, he 
will become one of the all time greats

Pakistan captain Babar Azam celebrates after scoring a half century during the match against Scotland in Sharjah. (AP)
Pakistan captain Babar Azam celebrates after scoring a half century during the match against Scotland in Sharjah. (AP)

His reading of the game situation is brilliant and the changes that he has been making with the bowling and field placing have been unbelievably accurate



By Sunil Gavaskar

Published: Thu 11 Nov 2021, 9:00 AM

The one Cup that is missing from Cricket Australia’s Trophy cabinet is the ICC Mens Twenty20 World Cup and they will be desperate to bring that back from UAE. They have had a tough time in this format and have just not been able to click as a team despite the fact that some of their players are such dominant players in the various T20 leagues in the world.

They came into this tournament on the back of some pretty ordinary performances in Bangladesh. The pitches and longer boundaries in UAE has certainly helped their bowlers and leg spinner Adam Zampa in particular and with David Warner back to his fearsome striking form they will certainly fancy their chances of bringing that elusive Cup home.

They will have to first contend in the semifinals with Pakistan who have been by far the best all round team in the competition so far. Pakistan have played dazzling cricket and are the only team to have won all their group matches and they have hardly been stretched in doing so. The only game where they were almost taken the distance was against Afghanistan, but even that was settled by an awesome display of power hitting by Asif Ali that meant they eventually won that game with more than an over to spare.

Pakistan have always been a mercurial side with some of the most naturally talented cricketers in the game. What has pulled them back is an excitable temperament. This time with Babar Azam leading them they are a lot calmer and a lot more game aware team. There is no doubt that Babar if he keeps himself fit and motivated is going to become one of the all time greats of the game. What he can become is also one of the greatest captains that Pakistan has produced. His reading of the game situation is brilliant and the changes that he has been making with the bowling and field placing have been unbelievably accurate.

The variety he has at his disposal in bowling means that at no time is he going to be a bowler short and that for any captain is a huge plus. They need to take the early wickets for if the Finch-Warner duo get going then it will be tough to stop the Aussies.

This should be a thriller too. (TCM)


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