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Babar Azam dreams of becoming No.1 batter in all three formats: Hopefully will be able to do it

Babar Azam has said, “it’s a dream” to become the No.1 ranked batter in all three formats and match Dinesh Karthik’s call that the Pakistan captain can create history.

Karthik feels Azam has it in him to become the world’s No. 1 batter in all three formats, which will be a unique first in the annals of the game. Babar is currently the No.1 batter in the ICC ODI and T20I rankings, while he is a career-high No.5 in Tests behind Marnus Labuschagne, Steve Smith, Kane Williamson and Joe Root.

But Karthik, who was recently included in India’s squad for the five-match T20I series against South Africa, is quite confident that the Pakistan captain will soon be topping the ICC Test batting charts as well.

“As a player it’s a dream to become the No. 1 in all formats and, for that, you have to focus and put in hard work. It’s not like if you are the top player in one or two formats, you go easy,” Azam was quoted as saying by the ICC on Friday.

“If you are to become No.1 in all three, you have to keep yourself fit and on track. There is back-to-back cricket and the gap is less. For that, you need to be extra fit.

“It’s something I am preparing for. It’s going well in white-ball and hopefully, I will be able to do well in Tests too,” added Azam.

Azam was speaking ahead of the rescheduled Pakistan and West Indies ODI series to be played on 8, 10 and 12 June. The three ODIs were postponed last December due to a COVID-19 outbreak in the West Indies camp following their T20I series.

Pakistan claimed a 3-0 clean sweep in those T20Is and continued their strong white-ball form with a 2-1 ODI series win at home against Australia.

Azam was the star of the three ODIs against Australia with two tons and a half-century as he averaged 142.5 and scored at a strike rate of 116.8.

“As a team, as a captain, you go into the series thinking about a clean sweep, whoever the opponent is,” Azam said.

“We went with the same thought against Australia, to play tough cricket and dominate. The intent is the same against West Indies, but it’s not like we are underestimating them.

“They also have the capacity to give you a tough time as, on the day, they are a dangerous team. You can’t take them easy.”

The Pakistan and West Indies ODIs will be played in Multan with matches starting at 4 pm local time to avoid the worst of the extreme heat.

The three ODIs are part of the Super League with both teams chasing crucial points to earn a top-eight finish and automatically qualify for the Cricket World Cup 2023, with West Indies currently in sixth place and Pakistan 10th.

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