Babar Azam has been Pakistan's most consistent batsman in limited-overs cricket for the last four years, amassing over 4,000 runs in ODIs and T20Is combined, during the period. The 24-year-old also occupies the fifth position in terms of ODI runs scored since June 2016 - a list which features distinguished names like Virat Kohli, Rohit Sharma and Joe Root.
His exquisite stroke-play while facing Pat Cummins and Kane Richardson captured the attention of those present at The Cooper Associates County Ground in Taunton, on June 12, in Pakistan's chase against Australia, before Nathan Coulter-Nile's bouncer ended his stay at the crease. The right-hander now looks to emulate modern-day great Virat Kohli's match-winning capabilities, as he gears up to take on India on Sunday.
"I watch his batting and the way he bats in various conditions and try to learn from them," Babar told reporters on Friday. "His (Kohli's) winning ratio is higher (for India) so I am trying to achieve that as well," the 24 year-old right-handed batsman said.
India boasts of an all-round bowling attack led by Jasprit Bumrah, who currently tops the MRF Tyres ICC ODI Rankings for bowlers. Babar, however, is confident that his teammates are ready to take on the challenge. "No doubt, India have a good bowling attack but we have played well against England who also have a very good pace attack, so all of us are confident the Indian pace attack will be properly handled," he said.
Babar, who scored a fluent 63 in a match-winning cause against England at Trent Bridge, recalled the ICC Champions Trophy triumph over India in 2017, adding that the victory acts as a source of motivation for his team.
"The Champions Trophy win gave us confidence and will also help here as well because the team is mostly the same and that win is always an inspiration. That win can never go off our memories and it's a big inspiration. We are well prepared for this match because India and Pakistan matches are exciting and demanding and the whole world watches it."
"The whole team is positive so we are looking forward to the match. Not only me but all the players want to finish on a high, whoever hits form wants to win it," he concluded.