Pakistan Captain Babar Azam Crowned ODI Cricketer of the Year
The International Cricket Council (ICC) named Pakistan captain Babar Azam ODI Cricketer of the Year on Monday.
This is Babar Azam’s third appearance at the ICC Awards 2021. The ICC has already named him captain of the T20 and ODI teams of the year.
The year 2021 will go down in history as one of the most memorable for the national team, with several Pakistani cricketers being nominated for international honors for their outstanding achievements. Bangladesh’s Shakib Al Hasan, South Africa’s Janneman Malan, and Ireland’s Paul Stirling were also nominated for the ODI Cricketer of the Year award.
The Pakistani captain had only played six One-Day Internationals the previous year, but he was instrumental in both of Pakistan’s series this year. In six matches, he scored 405 runs at an average of 67.50, including two centuries.
With 228 runs, he was Pakistan’s second-highest run scorer, and he was named Player of the Match in both of Pakistan’s victories in the 2-1 series victory over South Africa. Babar made a century and built the foundation with an 82-ball 94 in the last ODI, where the visitors produced 320 batting first, architecting Pakistan’s chase of 274 in the first ODI.
When Pakistan was crushed 3-0 by England, he was their lone warrior. He scored 177 runs in three games but received no help from the other batters, who failed to score more than 100 runs throughout the series.
In 2021, the top batter’s best performance came in the final ODI against England, which he lost. Pakistan were fighting for pride as well as precious ICC Cricket World Cup Super League points in the third ODI at Birmingham, with the series already lost. Pakistan batted first and scored 331 runs, with Babar scoring nearly half of the team’s runs.
Babar came in to bat early in the innings and put on a 92-run stand with Imam-ul-Haq to save Pakistan. Initially, he was conservative in his approach, reaching his half-century in 72 balls. He made amends by scoring the following fifty runs in just 32 balls, his second ODI century of the season.
He burst in the final overs and almost batted his way through the innings, being dismissed for 158 in the last over, his highest-ever ODI score.
Unfortunately for Pakistan, England brought down the score with two overs to spare thanks to a brilliant 129-run sixth-wicket stand between James Vince and Lewis Gregory.
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