“ICC World Test Championship: Babar Azam Outperforms Kohli and Smith”

Babar Azam, the talented Pakistani skipper, has emerged as the top performer in the recently concluded World Test Championship (WTC) 2021-2023. Holding the number four position, Babar Azam boasts the highest average among all batsmen, making him a standout player in the tournament.

Throughout the championship, Babar Azam showcased his exceptional skills, amassing an impressive average of 69.10 in 20 innings. His remarkable record includes eight fifties and four centuries, placing him ahead of renowned cricketers like India’s Virat Kohli and Australia’s Steve Smith.

Babar azam
Virat Kohli (left), Babar Azam (middle), and Steve Smith (right) — ESPN Cricinfo

Even though Australia’s Steve Smith emerged as the WTC 21-23 winner, Babar Azam’s performance outshone his competitors. Smith secured the second-best average of 55.40 in 30 innings, backed by six fifties and four centuries. Meanwhile, England’s Joe Root secured the third position with an average of 54.20 in 34 innings, marked by eight fifties and six centuries.

Among the top five batters, Sri Lanka’s veteran Angelo Mathews claimed an average of 48.40 in 16 innings, with two fifties and two centuries. Surprisingly, Virat Kohli, the Indian batting sensation, recorded the lowest average among the top five batsmen, scoring at a rate of 34.65 per match. Kohli managed three fifties and a century during the championship.

The climax of the World Test Championship unfolded on Sunday, June 11, with Australia triumphing over India by a comfortable margin of 209 runs. In the final match, India fell short of the target of 444 runs and was ultimately bowled out for 234 runs in their second innings on the fifth day of the match.

Renowned former Australian cricketer Matthew Hayden lauded Babar Azam, acknowledging him as one of the contemporary batting greats. In a pre-WTC final TV conversation between India and Australia at The Oval, Hayden expressed his admiration for Babar’s extraordinary talent.

“Runs on the board are always crucial in a big game. Steve Smith is a maestro in that aspect,” Hayden replied when asked about Australia’s strengths in the final clash. “If you consider the modern-day greats, players like Smith, Kohli, and Babar Azam come along once in a generation, representing the cricketers of this era,” he added, commending their exceptional skills.

It is worth noting that Matthew Hayden has previously worked with the Pakistan team as a batting mentor during the T20 World Cups. In 2021, he was appointed as the team’s batting mentor, and Pakistan reached the semi-finals against Australia. Subsequently, in 2022, he returned as the batting mentor, guiding Pakistan to the final against England.

During his association with the Pakistan team, Hayden consistently praised Babar Azam for his remarkable batting prowess. His immense support and admiration have further solidified Babar Azam’s reputation as an exceptional talent in international cricket.

Babar Azam’s stellar performances in the World Test Championship have undoubtedly placed him at the forefront of the cricketing world. With his extraordinary skills, Babar Azam has proven to be a force to be reckoned with, carving his name among the greatest batsmen of this generation.