Babar Azam becomes first Pakistani to score most international runs in a year
Pakistan skipper Babar Azam added another feather to his cap Monday when he became the first Pakistani to score the most number of international runs in a year.
The flamboyant batter achieved the feat when he scored the 13th run of his innings against New Zealand in the first Test being played at National Bank Cricket Arena in Karachi.
He broke the record set by Pakistan batting coach Mohammad Yousuf when he scored 2,435 runs in 2006.
Babar Azam has scored 735 runs in T20, 679 in ODI, and over 1,000 runs in the red ball format of the game.
Last week, Babar Azam became the only sixth Pakistani to amass 1,000 Test runs in a calendar year in the Test series against England.
The right-handed batter reached this milestone on the third day of the Karachi Test when he reached 45 in his innings. Babar, though, was out after scoring 54.
While this was the seventh occasion of a Pakistani batter scoring 1,000 Test runs in a calendar year, Babar is the sixth cricketer from the country to do so as Younis Khan achieved this feat twice.
Former captain Younis had scored 1,179 runs in 2006 and another 1,064 runs in 2014. Mohammad Yousuf leads the chart with 1,788 runs in the year 2006. Other batters in the list from Pakistan include Azhar Ali (1,198 in 2016), Inzamam-ul-Haq (1,090 in 2000) and Mohsin Khan (1,029 in 1982).
Only three other batters have amassed 1,000 runs this year before Babar. English cricketer Joe Root has scored 1,098 runs in 27 innings, Australia’s Usman Khawaja 1,079 runs in 19 innings and England’s Jonny Bairstow with 1,061 runs in 19 innings.
The star player is in the third spot of the International Cricket Council’s (ICC) career-best rankings with 871 points.
Babar’s third place comes after Australia’s Marnus Labuschagne and Steve Smith — who are in the first and second spots respectively.