Babar Azam’s sparkling 161 held him break Mohammed Yousuf’s record and become the top run scorer in all three formats, scoring a mind-boggling 2584 runs, beating Yousuf’s previous record of 2435.
The Pakistani skipper’s innings helped his side to a commanding 438 all out. In recent times, in particular, opposition bowling attacks have come across a one-man mountain in the form of Azam.
Critics will say Babar’s achievements, which are of course record-breaking, are mainly because he’s been playing on home pitches, but that’s a bit harsh.
This is a disservice to the world-class bowling attacks he has been up against. On any service, these attacks can pose problems, such as Australia’s bowling attack, which is led by inspirational skipper Pat Cummins.
In this game against The Black Caps, Babar and CO had to contend with the varied skills of New Zealand’s bowlers. From Neil Wagner to Ish Sodhi, this kind of variety is no doubt a precious commodity.
Pakistan themselves who at one stage exclusively had left-arm fast bowlers have brought Mir Hamza from the international cold to play him in the first test in Karachi.
Fellow Karachite and former Pakistan captain Sarfraz Ahmed was also brought in from the cold to play against New Zealand. Ahmed came in for under-fire vice-captain Mohammed Rizwan, whose barren form continued.
A strange decision some may say to bring back a 36-year-old into the test fold, but Safraz to his credit scored a very Sarfraz-like 86. It was battling and gritty, as well as well thought out in the way he played.
All be it one inning, but Sarfraz Ahmed showed there’s life in the old dog yet. At the time of writing, New Zealand are underway in their innings as Pakistan were all out for 438.
Key to this platform have been of course Babar (161), Sarfraz Ahmed (86) and Agha Salman who hit a maiden ton (103), which justifies his place in the side with Fawad Alam still not able to get into the test side.
The new chief of selectors Shahid Afridi at face value has made the right call of bringing in Mir Hamza as every team in world cricket has a left-arm pacer. In the case of Hamza across different formats, he has been impressive as well.
We here at the-sports-buff.com will bring you the updates on this test and of the series too, where it’s all to play for.
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