Ricky Ponting, who is in the ICC Hall of Fame, thinks that the cricketing world has not yet seen the best version of Pakistan’s captain and star batter Babar Azam. Azam won two ICC Awards for his efforts in 2022, but Ponting believes that the world has not yet seen the best version of Azam, saying that he has a little bit of room for improvement and is not probably at his peak yet.
The Sir Garfield Sobers Trophy, which is the most prestigious accolade in men’s cricket, as well as the award for Men’s One-Day International Cricketer of the Year at the 2022 ICC Awards were both won by Babar, who triumphed against strong competition in both categories.
Ponting led the chorus of plaudits for Babar, noting the Pakistan skipper’s textbook base and his ability to adjust in varied conditions as essential to his success while speaking on The ICC Review.
Ponting was quoted by the International Cricket Council as saying, “Technically, he is really good.”
“He plays spin bowling very well, and he plays fast bowling very well, and he has been able to adapt to different circumstances across the world – which is what distinguishes the great players from the decent players.” “He plays fast bowling extremely well.”
“To be able to be dominant in different conditions (to the ones) you are brought up in, I have seen him on more than one occasion be able to accomplish it,” the speaker said. “I have seen it with my own eyes.”
“The truly outstanding players also possess very robust mental fortitude. You need only look at when he plays, how long he bats for in test matches, how he controls the innings in one-day games, and how he has the ability to sort of shift up and down the gears as a batsman when the game and the situation require him to in order to see that he possesses this ability “Ponting said.
The reading experience provided by Babar’s statistics is top-notch throughout all three foreign formats. In the year 2022, Babar scored 1,184 runs in tests, 679 runs at an average of 85 in one-day internationals, and led his team to the semi-finals of the Twenty20 World Cup in Australia, scoring 735 runs at an average strike rate of 123 over the year in Twenty20 International competition.
Although those numbers would be considered the limit by some, Ponting believes that there is yet more to come.
“It’s highly unlikely that he is (at his peak). The majority of batters reach their peak performance sometime around the beginning of their early thirties “he stated.
“You are, in a sense, toiling away at your game and making incremental improvements right up until a certain time. And that’s it for the majority of guys.
You look at where Steve Smith, David Warner, and those other men have been, and you see where they’ve been. Along with other players in their early thirties like Kane Williamson, Steve Smith is probably playing as good as he has ever played at this point in their careers.”
“When you consider what Babar has been able to accomplish pretty much across all three forms over the past three or four years, the concept that he could make even a little bit more progress is really terrifying. Therefore, I believe that Babar still has some room for advancement.
It gives me such joy to see him in action. I believe there is some opportunity for development, and let us hope that we are able to witness it “conclusion reached by Ponting
The fact that Babar accomplished all of this while carrying the responsibility of captaining the team makes his record all the more impressive.
In addition to his impressive run total, Pakistan won eight out of nine One-Day International matches in 2018, bringing their overall record to 14 wins in 26 games until 2022.
Ponting believes there are wrinkles in the leadership front that need to be ironed out, but he advises Babar to learn from every circumstance he finds himself in. This is despite the fact that Babar led Pakistan to the semi-finals of the T20 World Cup for the second year in a row.
“During the T20 World Cup, I have to admit that there were instances when he appeared to become a little bit flustered. This was definitely the case during the game against India when things became pretty tight at the finish.
You could see a number of the more experienced players, in particular Shadab Khan, walking over to him and attempting to calm him down and just make him think a little bit more clearly “Ponting said.
“But such is the nature of the Twenty20 game. Being the captain of the Twenty20 team is not an easy job, especially during a World Cup, and especially during a moment that was as significant as that one was when things were becoming really tight. However, this individual rose to the challenge and led his side to victory.”
Ponting continued, “I am confident that with a bit more experience under his belt, like he is done with his batting, I am sure he will find the right way to lead and be a very successful captain of Pakistan.” “I am sure he will find the proper way to lead and be a very successful captain of Pakistan.”
How significant is Babar, then, in relation to the other greats of Pakistan? Ponting believes that there is no justifiable reason why he should not be placed at the highest pinnacle, especially in the company of such legendary figures.
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