(MENAFN- Khaleej Times) Published: Tue 3 Oct 2023, 1:07 PM
Last updated: Tue 3 Oct 2023, 2:42 PM
Pakistan captain Babar Azam is currently the top batter in International Cricket Council's (ICC) ODI rankings. Many expect the Right-handed batter to make a mark at the ICC Cricket World Cup 2023, which is set to begin from October 5 in India.
Former India player Gautam Gambir recently made a big prediction on Babar and claimed that he can go on to“score three or four centuries” in the World Cup.
World-class batters like Virat Kohli, Rohit Sharma, Steve Smith, David Warner, Jos Buttler, Heinrich Klaasen, Kane Williamson etc will look to score big at the tournament. But here's why Gambir picked Babar.“The kind of technique Babar Azam has, I think he will score three or four centuries for Pakistan in this World Cup,” Gambhir told Star Sport.
While talking about India's chances, Gambhir pointed out that skipper Rohit Sharma will be eager to pull off an impressive show at the World Cup on home soil.
"The kind of ability he has... India are playing the World Cup at home. We all know about Rohit Sharma's record at home. He has three or four double hundreds. So, I'm sure he will be really looking forward to and he will be eager to turn it around for India,” Gambhir, who won the World Cup in 2011 under Mahendra Singh Dhoni's captaincy, said.
Gambhir was not the only one who felt that Babar would shine at the World Cup. Former South Africa pacer Dale Steyn said that Pak cricketer may emerge as the highest run-getter of the competition. "Leading run-scorer is probably gonna be somebody like Babar," Steyn told Star Sports.
Babar looked in sublime touch as he played a brilliant knock of 80 against New Zealand in a World Cup warm-up fixture. Babar's batting, however, went in vain as Pakistan were defeated by the Kiwis by five wickets.
In his last ODI World Cup campaign in 2019, Babar had scored 474 runs having played eight matches. The 28-year-old registered an average of 67.71, and a strike rate of 87.77 in the 2019 ODI World Cup. He had notched three fifties and a century back then. Babar claimed his solitary World Cup ton against New Zealand.
Pakistan will kick off their World Cup 2023 journey with a match against the Netherlands on October 6 in Hyderabad.
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