Babar Azam: Decoding his Test stats in 2022
Pakistan skipper Babar Azam has been in a phenomenal touch in Tests played this year. The right-hander blasted a hundred in the first innings to truncate England's 657-run total. It was his eighth ton in red-ball cricket and his third in 2022. Notably, he has gone past 1,000 runs at home in the format. We decode his Test stats in 2022.
Babar's performance in 2022 (Tests)
Babar has tallied 801 runs across six Tests played this year. He averages a jaw-dropping 72.81. He has notched three tons and four fifties. His scores read 36, 36, 196, 67, 55, 119, 55, 16, 81, 136, and 4. Babar is Pakistan's leading run-getter in Tests in 2022. Abdullah Shafique (706) and Imam-ul-Haq (652) trail him in this regard.
Why does this story matter?
- Babar has churned out runs for fun all throughout the year.
- He is pushing his case as one of Pakistan's greats in the longest format.
- Babar, who ranks third in the ICC Men's Test Rankings, will play three more Tests before winding up the year.
- With valuable World Test Championship points on offer, he will hope to make a difference with the willow.
Babar lights up Rawalpindi with a ton
Babar whacked a 168-ball 136 in the first innings, striking at a monstrous rate of 80.95. The run-machine looked ominous before mistiming a cut shot toward Jack Leach at backward point. Babar (4) failed to weave his magic in the second innings, falling prey to Ben Stokes' short ball ploy in the sixth over.
1,000-plus runs at home (Tests)
Babar has driven past 1,000 runs at home in the purest format. He now has 1,057 runs across nine Tests at home. He averages a sensational 81.30 (100s: 5, 50s: 4). He clocked 196 off 425 deliveries against Australia in Karachi earlier this year. It's his highest Test score. He has scored 530 runs at home in 2022, averaging 75.71 (100s: 2, 50s: 2).
Seventh-highest Test score at National Stadium
Babar's 196 is the seventh-highest score by a batter in Tests played at National Stadium in Karachi. He beat Zaheer Abbas' 186. Meanwhile, Pakistan's all-time run-getter in Tests, Younis Khan, holds the highest score at this venue (313).
Decoding Babar's Test numbers
Babar marked his Test debut against West Indies in 2016. He has amassed 3,262 runs across 43 Tests, averaging 47.97. He has clubbed eight hundreds and 23 fifties (HS: 196 vs Australia). Babar has compiled over 1,000 runs at home (1,057). He has 1,678 and 527 runs at away and neutral venues, averaging 39.95 and 40.53, respectively.
How has the first Test panned out?
Centuries from four English batters helped the visitors amass a mammoth 657 in the first innings. For Pakistan, debutant Zahid Mahmood was the best bet (4/235). The hosts replied with 579/10, with Babar as the top scorer. England then extended their lead and raced to 264/7d at tea on Day 4. Pakistan (80/2) need 263 runs to win the opening Test of the series.