Young batsman Babar taking charge early
Sun, Jan 17, 2010 4:42 PM
Pakistan's Muhammad Babar Azam may be one of the youngest players competing in the ICC U19 Cricket World Cup, but made his mark with a sublime all-round performance to give his side a convincing win over the West Indies in their first match.
The 15-year old opener scored 129 runs from 132 balls and followed that with two for 35 from his 10 overs of tidy off-spin, which proved highly effective against a destructive West Indies opening pair.
Babar as a young batsman puts a lot of emphasis on doing the job so that his team can win. After scoring his hundred he said, "the only thing in my mind was that I had to play the whole innings."
Babar has previously raised eyebrows at Under-19 level, when he was the leading run scorer in a tri-series with Sri Lanka and Bangladesh in 2009. He averaged over 50 for the tournament including a century. He looks to have carried this form through to the U19 CWC and says he is "very hopeful that I will continue this form".
If he does continue, his team looks well set to qualify for the Super League stage and with his talents set only to improve it is likely that he will have a huge future in the game. He has another four years of being available for the Under-19 team, but he also has his sights on the possibility of cracking the national senior squad while still in his teens.
Babar says his cricketing hero is AB de Villiers but also admires Umar Akmal, a former member of the Pakistan Under-19 squad himself, as a player that he loves to watch. He likes the way Akmal bats and judging by his first innings, his batting style is not dissimilar; scoring his century with a strike rate of nearly 98.
The young batting hero says Pakistan would be one of the favourites of the competition. Babar says that although it is drawn in a tough pool, Pakistan is fielding a very strong side - "I am very confident for the upcoming matches".