Michael Hussey in awe of Babar Azam after latter scores 157 against Australia A in a warm-up game
Babar Azam and Shafiq slammed tons on Day 1 of the warm-up encounter against Australia A.
Updated - Nov 12, 2019 2:26 pm
Babar Azam made his mark in the T20I series against Australia scoring a couple of half-centuries. Though Pakistan lost the series by 2-0, their best player’s form going into the Test series was good news for them. Stamping more authority on the opposition, Babar slammed 157 in the practice game against Australia A which has impressed the former Aussie cricketer Michael Hussey a lot.
After an early wobble, one that saw Pakistan‘s top-3 struggle facing Australian quicks like Riley Meredith, who snared two early wickets, the Pakistani pair of Azam and Shafiq stonewalled. They blunted the Aussie A bowling attack to all corners of the Perth Stadium on what turned out to be a pretty lifeless track.
“He’s an exceptionally good player. He’s obviously translated that (white-ball) form nicely today. We’ll think of some plans over the next couple of days and the next couple of weeks, I guess, for the guys playing the first Test against him.” Australian Test hopeful Travis Head was quoted by Cricket Australia at the end of Day 01.
Michael Hussey feels if Babar Azam can continue his performances in the longest format of the game, the time is not far when he will be talked in the same breath as the fab four of the current generation.
“If Babar Azam can start hitting some big hundreds in Tests, he can be in that same conversation when we talk about the best players in the world, like Virat Kohli, Steve Smith, Kane Williamson, and Joe Root. He’s that good, he’s a brilliant player” Hussey was quoted as saying by Fox Cricket.
Babar Azam’s masterclass dominates the first day of the warm-up match against Australia A
James Meredith provided the highlight of the day, as far as the Australians were concerned when he sent a vicious bouncer to opener Shan Masood, which the latter fended awkwardly to Sean Abbott. However, Brad Hogg on commentary felt that the Aussies overdid the short-pitch stuff and should add more variety to their bowling.
“You’ve got 90 overs, four fast bowlers and bowling short-pitched bowling does wear you out. So you’ve also got to plan for the endurance of the whole day. Yes, Meredith has attacked and Richardson too, but you’ve got to have a bit of variety there. Start bowling on a good length and use it sparingly.” Hogg was quoted by Fox Cricket.
Coming back to Babar Azam, the right-hander, who stroked 99 during Pakistan’s last Test against the Aussies in the UAE and averages 53 in his 11 innings, played a chanceless knock to guide his team to 3-336 at the end of Day 1.