Crickwick has decided to do a series of inclusive reports on Pakistan’s all-time greats. Babar Azam, being one of the greatest Pakistani batsmen, and the current all-format captain, is on top of our list. This article includes information on all Babar Azam centuries in international cricket.
Although Pakistan is called the ‘land of fast bowlers’, it also has produced some great batters – Zaheer Abbas, Javed Miandad, Saeed Anwar, Inzamam-ul-Haq, Mohammad Yousaf, and Younis Khan to name a few. Babar Azam is the latest addition on the list, as he is one of the modern-day greats.
Babar is currently serving as the all-format captain of the Pakistan cricket team. His classic batting and elegant stroke-making refresh the memories of great Zaheer Abbas. He is not only the most stylish batter in Pakistan but also one of the best in modern-day cricket.
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Don’t take my words for it, his numbers speak for himself: At the age of 24, Babar has 20 international centuries to his credit, 14 of them in ODIs. He scored his sixth T20 hundred during the ongoing National T20, and also smashed Chris Gayle’s record to become the fastest to 7,000 T20 runs by achieving the feat in 187 innings. While he has so many records to his name, this article will solely discuss Babar Azam’s centuries.
Star in the making
Born on 15th October 1994 in Lahore, he spent his early days roaming the streets and playing cricket all the time. He was born with the love of cricket which transformed into the next level by a conducive environment. Just like every other story, his parents initially barred him from playing cricket, for this was affecting his academic career. But when his father saw his determination, he allowed him to join an academy. That was when the making of a superstar began.
On World’s Teachers’ Day on October 8, Babar paid tribute to his teacher ‘Mama Jee’ who, according to him, played an important role in shaping up his career. He apparently ran a cricket academy in Lahore and was the catalyst to providing Babar with the much-needed break in U-13 cricket.
Cricket is in his blood
Do you know the reason why Babar picked cricket as a career?
Babar belongs to a cricketing family. His two-three elder cousins, the Akmal brothers have represented Pakistan at the highest level. Seeing them, Babar decided to pick cricket as a career and he worked hard to edge past his cousins and became the pride of Pakistan.
Since childhood, he was crazy about cricket. He would ask his father to take him to every domestic and international cricket match played at the Gaddafi Stadium, Lahore. Cometh the opportunity and he becomes a ball picker at Gaddafi Stadium during the South Africa tour to Pakistan in 2005-06.
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Babar had the talent for batting right from the beginning. But, he learned game awareness and construction of innings from game exposure. His determination to improve his game with every passing day followed by continuous guidance from coach Rana Sadiq’s guidance made him even better and helped him get make it through, U-13, U-16, and U-19 to all the way into domestic cricket.
Babar Azam’s U19 centuries
Babar would have been only 16 when he got to represent Pakistan in the Under 19 World Cup 2009-2010. Babar started his U19 WC career with a blast, scoring a scintillating hundred on his debut against West Indies. He made a brilliant 129 off 132 balls and was dismissed by an unfortunate runout.
He scored an unbeaten 40 in the second match against Papua New Guinea U19, in the next game, then another fifty (91) against Bangladesh U19, followed by a 6, 4, and 28 against India and West Indies, and Australia.
The age factor allowed him to play another U19 World Cup in 2012. This edition of the U19 World Cup did wonders for his confidence as a batsman. He scored a brilliant hundred, and two fifties, including one against India. Although Pakistan got knocked out in the semi-final against West Indies, it discovered a future star in the shape of Babar Azam.
Overall, Babar played 36 U19 matches, including 12 U19 World Cup games, and scored three centuries, against West Indies, Scotland and Sri Lanka and eight fifties. But before making his WC debut, Babar had already scored his maiden U19 ton in a match against Sri Lanka in 2009.
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Here is a list of his U19 tons:
|Babar Azam’s U19 Centuries|
|Sri Lanka||127||Dambulla||2 Dec 2009|
|West Indies||129||Palmerston North||15 Jan 2010|
|Scotland||106||Queensland||13th Aug 2021|
Beginning of international career
By the time cricket returned to Pakistan after a drought of 6 years, with Zimbabwe agreeing to a maiden tour to Pakistan (after 2009), Babar Azam’s name wasn’t new to cricket fans. His name had been resonating among the cricket corridors and he was being touted as the ‘next batting great.’
Proving the expectations true, Babar scored a fifty on his ODI debut, at his home ground – the Gaddafi stadium, where he was once a ball picker.
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He made his T20I debut against England in 2016 and scored 15 of 11 unbeaten.
Babar Azam centuries
Babar Azam is currently the ICC No.1 ODI batsman, has 20 international centuries in his career across the formats. He has won many matches for Pakistan with his batting, including the famous win against New Zealand at the 2019 World Cup. Babar is a match-winner. Pakistani people call him the ‘backbone’ of the national cricket team because of the consistency in his performances.
Babar Azam’s ODI centuries
After playing his debut ODI game in 2015, Babar took another year to score his maiden ODI hundred. His first ODI ton came in November 2016 against West Indies in the UAE, which helped Pakistan post 284 runs on the board, and eventually win the match. Babar got his first Man of the Match award in the same game.
Three consecutive centuries
He eventually went on to score three consecutive centuries in the series, becoming only the third Pakistani after Zaheer Abbas and Saeed Anwar to achieve the feat. Overall, he was the eighth batsman in the world to have scored three consecutive ODI tons. Only former Sri Lankan skipper Kumar Sangakkara has more (four) back-to-back ODI tons.
With scores of 120, 123, and 117, Babar accumulated 360 runs in three matches and broke Javed Miandad’s record of scoring the most runs in a three-match ODI series.
A century against Australia
In 2017, the Pakistan cricket team toured Australia. Pakistan lost the ODI series by 4-1, but in the fifth ODI, Babar Azam became only the second Pakistani to score a century in Australia after Zaheer Abbas in 1981. Babar Azam’s impressive 109-ball century against Australia at Adelaide was studded with seven fours and a six.
Century against Windies
Riding on his superb form, the star-in-the-making, Babar Azam scored another century in the first ODI against West Indies when Pakistan toured the country mid-2017. Babar Azam remained unbeaten at 125 of 132 balls,
A century against Sri Lanka
After the Champions Trophy 2017, Pakistan toured Sri Lanka in September, where Babar Azam scored his 7th ton against the second ODI and became the fastest batsman to get seven ODI centuries.
A century vs NZ in the 2019 WC
The World Cup is a very crucial tournament for emerging players. Babar, who was playing his debut World Cup, was feeling the same. He could not deliver in the first couple of matches. However, in the do-or-die game against New Zealand, Babar managed to get his 10th ODI century. He scored 101 of 127 and remained unbeaten to win the game for Pakistan.
In the World Cup 2019, Babar Azam accumulated 474 runs and in the process, he broke Javed Miandad’s 27-year-old record of most runs by a Pakistani batter in an ODI World Cup.
|Babar Azam’s all ODI Centuries|
|West Indies||120||Sharjah||October 2016|
|West Indies||123||Sharjah||October 2016|
|West Indies||117||Abu Dhabi||October 2016|
|West Indies||125||Guyana||April 2017|
|Sri Lanka||103||Dubai||13 October 2017|
|Sri Lanka||101||Abu Dhabi||17 October 2017|
|Zimbabwe||106||Harare||22 July 2018|
|England||119||Trent Bridge||17 May 2019|
|New Zealand||101||Edgbaston||26 June 2019|
|Sri Lanka||115||Karachi||30 Sept 2019|
|Zimbabwe||125||Rawalpindi||3 November 2020|
|England||157||Edgbaston||13 July 2021|
Babar Azam Test Centuries
The 27-year-old has so far batted in 63 innings of 35 Tests across his career. His highest score is 143 that came against Bangladesh at Pindi Cricket Stadium, Rawalpindi in 2019.
Babar Azam so far has five Test centuries to his name, three of them came in the year 2019. His habit to score big has helped him improve his average in Test cricket that currently stands at 43. His bright future can be gauged by looking at his numbers.
|New Zealand||127||Dubai||Nov 24- 28, 2018|
|Australia||104||Gabba||Nov 21- 25, 2019|
|Sri Lanka||102||Rawalpindi||Dec 11 -15 2019|
|Sri Lanka||100*||Karachi||Dec 19- 23, 2010|
|Bangladesh||143||Rawalpindi||Feb 7- 11, 2020|
Babar Azam T20 centuries
Having made his T20i debut in September 2016, it took Babar nearly five years and 50 matches to score his maiden T20I century came against South Africa at Centurion in April 2021. He scored 122 of just 59 balls, and in the process, built a 197-run opening partnership with Mohammad Rizwan and eventually won the match for Pakistan.
Babar Azam is the current captain of the Pakistan Cricket Team across all formats. His consistency with the bat makes him the most dependable batsman in the Pakistani batting line. With his form with the bat, Pakistanis would hope that he would make them proud by winning the T20 World Cup 2021 in the UAE.