'Best all-format batter in the world': Int'l figures heap praise on Babar Azam after match-saving 196

Published March 16, 2022
Australia's cricketers clap as Pakistan's captain Babar Azam walks back to the pavilion after his dismissal during the fifth and final day of the second Test match between Pakistan and Australia at the National Cricket Stadium in Karachi on Wednesday. — AFP
Australia's cricketers clap as Pakistan's captain Babar Azam walks back to the pavilion after his dismissal during the fifth and final day of the second Test match between Pakistan and Australia at the National Cricket Stadium in Karachi on Wednesday. — AFP

Babar Azam earning plaudits from local media personalities and cricket experts is a routine occurrence by now that happens pretty much every time he laces up.

But his match-saving and record-breaking 196 against Australia in the final innings of the second Test in Karachi was so impressive that even foreign media figures — including those from the neighbouring India — couldn't help but wax lyrical about him.

Leading the praise was England great Michael Vaughan who said Babar is "without question the best all-round batter in the world right now" and "brilliant" across all formats.

West Indies batting legend Sir Vivian Richards applauded both Babar and Mohammad Rizwan's performance, calling them "exceptional talents".

He further said the world was "blessed to witness such players in the middle".

Cricketer-turned-coach Ian Pont described Babar's innings as "unbelievable", saying it showed why the Pakistan captain was the best in the world at the moment.

"Extraordinary effort by Babar Azam to save the Test for Pakistan. Changed the game by looking to score day four rather than letting Australia dictate," tweeted Australian journalist Andrew Wu.

Read: Trio of records Babar Azam broke during his marathon 196 against Australia

Indian journalists were also effusive in their praise.

"Controversial [question] but because sports must stretch beyond the LOC, here it is: is @babarazam258 the best all-format batsman today in the subcontinent?" asked Rajdeep Sardesai.

Vikrant Gupta said the star batsman's innings "will pitchfork him to be counted as one of the modern-day greats".

Uday Rana summarised it in one sentence, "The best Pakistan team I've seen in a long, long time."

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