BIRMINGHAM: Young middle-order batsman Babar Azam has become the fastest man not just in Pakistan but the entire continent to reach the milestone of 3,000 runs in One-Day International cricket.
He achieved this feat during his instrumental performance against New Zealand when he hit all-rounder Mitchell Santner for a single, accumulating 29 runs. Talking about unpredictability of Pakistan in the post-match press conference, Santner said, “When they are hot, they are really hot.”
This was Babar’s 68th ODI innings in 70 matches. He has become the fastest Pakistani to score 3,000 runs surpassing Inzamam ul Haq with wide margin.
South Africa’s opening batsman Hashim Amla is the only player in the world to reach this milestone in fewer innings, 57. Babar also holds the record of second fastest 2,000 run-scorer in ODI, behind Amla.
On Wednesday, he bludgeoned his first World Cup and 10th ODI century. He has 14 fifties to his credit, two in the ongoing tournament and both the matches were also won by Pakistan.
Pakistani batting coach Grant Flower thinks Babar has got Indian run-machine Virat Kohli’s hunger for score. Interestingly, Babar Azam has reached the milestones of 1,000, 2,000 and 3,000 runs in less innings than Kohli — 3, 8 and 7 respectively.