Former Sri Lanka captain Mahela Jayawardena believes that Babar Azam could surpass Joe Root as the No.1 ranked Test batter in the near future. The Pakistan captain is currently ranked third in the Test format of the game. He holds the top spot in the white-ball formats as well. Joe Root, meanwhile, has been in sublime form in Test cricket over the last 18 months. Root, meanwhile, scored runs across all conditions with consistency too.
Terming Babar Azam as a “naturally gifted” player, Jayawardena said on the latest edition of the ICC Review: “I would say Babar Azam has an opportunity. He’s been consistent in all three formats and it shows in his rankings. He’s a naturally gifted player, plays in all conditions, he’s got the game to adapt as well. It depends on the amount of cricket, who’s playing when and how much but the Babar might be the guy.”
Meanwhile, the recent surge in Babar Azam’s rankings across all three formats came on the back of some stunning form. The Pakistan captain has played out 425 balls in the fourth innings in Karachi to help his side earn a draw against Australia. He also scored three fifty in the recently concluded Test series against Sri Lanka.
“(I) think it is just the technique, the time that he has and the composure that he has out there in the middle. He’s not rattled at any time, whether he plays T20Is, ODIs or Tests, he adjusts quite brilliantly. Joe (Root) in Test cricket is the same. He knows what he needs to do, he can the tempo when he wants to, bats to what the conditions offer. Babar has that same quality, so that’s why he’s been so consistent in all three formats,” Mahela Jayawardena concluded.