Wednesday, July 20, 2022

This Pakistan Team is Different!

This is a different Pakistan team under Babar Azam.

They have turned a corner and have the kind of belief in themselves that past Pakistan teams have not had.

For three decades Pakistan fans have been scarred by many a chase in Tests and ODIs where they have looked like winning the match, only to falter during the final lap.

Not this Pakistan team!

While the team seems to have moved forward from the scars of the past; for Pakistan fans it will take time for these scars to heal. We are probably the most nervous cricket fans in the world. Anyone will favor the team that requires 50 odd runs to win with 6 wickets in hand. Not Pakistani fans though!

I think it is time for us fans to start believing in this team as well. Us fan should also have the kind of belief that Babar has instilled in his players.

Babar's overall record as captain across formats is extremely impressive. He has a win percentage of over 60% in all three formats.

What is even more impressive is Pakistan's record under Babar while chasing totals. No other Pakistan team has looked as comfortable as this one while chasing totals.

Yes there have been impressive run chases in the past, especially the ones in Tests against Sri Lanka in 2014 and 2015, which were Pakistan's only two successful run chases of targets above 300. 

But those were one-off.

Babar Azam's team has pulled off record run chases in each of the three formats in the past 1 year!

T20 Internationals
It all started in April 2021 when Pakistan chased down 188 against South Africa in Johannesburg. It was their highest successful chase in T20Is.

That record remained intact for just 3 days as Pakistan easily chased down a record target of 204 in only 18 overs, while losing only 1 wicket, against South Africa at Centurion.

8 months later, Pakistan were at it again successfully chasing down 208 against the West Indies in Karachi; again easily winning by 7 wickets with 7 deliveries to spare.

Pakistan created 3 T20I records within a year!

One Day Internationals
In March of this year, Pakistan broke the record of their highest ever successful chase in ODIs when they chased down Australia's 348 and won the match by 6 wickets with an over to spare.

Test Matches
Today, Pakistan completed a successful chase of their second highest total in Tests - 342. This is the highest ever total chased at Galle, the fourth highest ever chased in Sri Lanka and the second highest ever chased against Sri Lanka.

This Pakistan team has been breaking record after record, and it is just starting off. We are only in the second year of Babar Azam's captaincy and his team has reached unprecedented heights.

The best part about these chases is that they have been completed confidently, without many stutters. There haven't been nervy last wicket scrapes. Just pure confident batting, pure confident chasing.

Babar has grown in stature with every passing day.

From being the best white ball batsman in the world, he is today the best batsman in the world across formats, and well on his way to being the best cricket captain in the world too!

Under Babar, Pakistan is a force to reckon with.

I do not even remember the last time Pakistan were this consistent across formats.

And I hope that soon there comes a time where I remember only this Pakistan. The world beating Pakistan!

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