Ricky Ponting believes Babar Azam deserves place in all-time great debate

Sports Jan, 28 2023
Ricky Ponting believes Babar Azam deserves place in all-time great debate
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ISLAMABAD: ICC Hall of Famer Ricky Ponting believes the cricket world has yet to see the best of Babar Azam, who claimed two ICC Awards for his efforts in 2022.

Babar took out both the major men’s cricket award, the Sir Garfield Sobers Trophy, as well as the Men’s ODI Cricketer of the Year in the 2022 ICC Awards, beating competitive fields in both categories.

Speaking on The ICC Review, Ponting led the chorus of praise for Babar, citing the Pakistan skipper’s textbook base and his ability to adjust in different conditions as keys to his success.

Technically, he’s very good, said Ponting.

He plays spin bowling very well, he plays fast bowling really well, and he’s been able to adapt to different conditions across the world - which is what separates the great players from the good players.

To be able to be dominant in different conditions (to the ones) you’re brought up in, I’ve seen him first-hand be able to do that.

The great players are also very strong mentally. You’ve only got to look at when he plays, how long he bats for in Test matches, how he controls the innings in one-day games, how he’s sort of got the ability to go up and down the gears as a batsman when the game and the situation needs him to.

So how far can Babar go in the context of Pakistan greats? Ponting believes there’s no reason why he can’t be stood at the very top, even in a pantheon of such greats. He’s on the upward curve now to maybe go down as the all-time greatest. I know there’s Inzamam (ul-Haq) and Younis Khan and those sorts of guys who’ve got more runs than him.

By the time he’s finished, his numbers I’m sure will stack up along with the very best Pakistan has produced, which will be great for him, but also all the cricket fans around the world who enjoy watching him play.

Published in The Daily National Courier, January, 28 2023

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