Pakistan all-format skipper Babar Azam has recalled a story on how veteran all-rounder Shoaib Malik helped him to calm down when he was very nervous. Having the support of a senior player is always a blessing for someone who is trying to make his name in cricket or any other sport.
As of 2021, Babar Azam is a well-established name in the cricketing folklore. But, way back in the year 2012, he had not even made his debut for his country and was just an aspiring 18-year-old cricketer.
Babar revealed that the Pakistan side was to tour India for a limited-overs series. He was called up to play a practice match at that time. He further revealed that he was extremely nervous when he walked out to bat. And, that was when Shoaib Malik intervened and asked everyone to just allow the youngster to play.
“It was Dec 2012. Pakistan team was about to tour India. I was called in for a side practice match. When it was my turn to bat I was nervous. He (Shoaib Malik) walked to me, calmed me down and told everyone around: Let the kid play!,” Babar told thenews.com.pk.
Babar and the Pakistan team is currently action against South Africa in the second Test of a two-match series. The hosts are currently leading the series 1-0. Babar was named Pakistan’s Test skipper last year.
So far in his career, Babar has already amassed over 6,000 runs across all formats. He has represented Pakistan 30 Tests, 77 ODIs, and 44 T20Is, having made his international debut in an ODI against Zimbabwe in 2015.
The 26-year-old averages above 50 in both ODI as well as T20I cricket, and also holds the record for being the fastest batsman to 1000 T20I runs. For the past few years, he has been in scintillating form in Test cricket as well.