Former India batter and World Cup winner Gautam Gambhir believes that three bowlers from the Indian team will trouble the no. 1 ODI batter Babar Azam.
The arch-rivals are set to lock horns in the 50-over format for the first time since 2019 when the teams met in the ICC Cricket World Cup which ended in the Blues’ victory.
Pakistan is in hot form as they opened their Asia Cup campaign with a massive 238-run victory against Nepal. Before that, they whitewashed Afghanistan 3-0 and became the number-one ODI team in the world.
Speaking to Star Sports, Gambhir was asked if Babar’s 151 against Nepal was any sort of message to India, to which he replied that the 28-year-old doesn’t need to give any message.
“Babar Azam doesn’t need to give any message. He has given a message in the 104 matches he has played. If you can score 19 centuries in 104 matches, I believe he will be in the top two or three players in all formats. So he doesn’t need to give a message.”
But he emphasised that despite his great knock in the Asia Cup opener, he will be tested against India’s pace.
“However, it will be a good contest. He will be tested against the Indian fast bowling. You will get to see an Indian attack after a long time, where all three bowlers [Jasprit Bumrah, Mohammad Shami, and Mohammed Siraj] can test Babar Azam properly.
“Babar Azam’s real testing will not happen against Nepal, Sri Lanka, or Bangladesh, it will be against India. Such players also want to test themselves against this kind of bowling.”
Babar is the number one ODI batter and has managed to remain consistent since his debut as he has amassed 5353 runs at an amazing average of 59.71 in 104 innings.
His record against the arch-rivals in the ODIs isn’t the one to talk about. In five innings against the Blues, he could only score 158 runs at an underwhelming average of 31.60.