ANI Photo | Pakistan skipper Babbar Azam reveals his next goal ahead of his 100th ODI against New Zealand

Pakistan skipper Babar Azam revealed his next goal as he approaches his 100th ODI against New Zealand in the fifth ODI match on Sunday.
Babar Azam will play his 100th ODI as Pakistan aims to clean-sweep New Zealand to ensure their stay at the top of the Men’s ODI Team Rankings.
While speaking on the PCB podcast as quoted by ICC, Babar he spoke about his next career goal, Babar was ambitious and wished to lead Pakistan to World Cup glory.
“Being the captain of a World Cup-winning side would be sweet,” Babar said.
He also recalled several career highlights including the first time he was called upon to the team.
“It was a different feeling altogether,” Babar said.
“There was some talk about me being selected, but when I got the call, there was a lot of excitement. I was sitting with my family and it made them happy.
“When I entered the Gaddafi Stadium as a Pakistan player, I reminisced my journey of how I used to come here as a ball picker and how I had come here before Inzamam-ul-haq’s final Test match, which was against South Africa, as a net bowler.”
The Pakistan skipper also recalled a moment when he wasn’t picked to the national academy for top performers after his first season as an under-15 regional player and the many sacrifices he had to make on the road to becoming an international cricketer.

In the national team, Babar had a good start to his career but he struggled to convert his starts to big knocks. He recalled the role of former head coach, and now team director, Mickey Arthur in him turning around this trend with three centuries on the trot against West Indies in UAE.
“I want to mention Mickey as he played an integral role in my transformation,” Babar said.
“As a cricketer, there’s a feeling that if you are not up to the mark, you might get dropped from the side, but he gave me the confidence.
“He asked me to give my best to the side and not worry about getting axed from the side and that helped me a great deal. He did not only do it with me but with every player in the side and that is why we have eight to nine players in the side currently from that lot.”
In 2019, Babar was elevated to the captaincy, and his numbers took an instant spike as he enjoyed the additional responsibility. In ODIs, he averages over 75 as captain (after the 4th ODI against New Zealand) and has seven tons in 25 matches.
All three of his T20I tons also came as skipper of the side. In Tests, the difference was profound with his average going over 50 as captain.
“The first year was a little overwhelming as there were a lot of things to deal with simultaneously as a Pakistan captain,” Babar spoke of taking on the captaincy.
“But, I learned how to manage that. I also learned a lot from how Saifi Bhai [Sarfaraz Ahmed] managed the team. I used to see his demeanour on and off the field and used to ask him questions that helped me.
“The most crucial bit in leading a team is to provide clarity to each and every player and have honest and open communication with the players. This breeds positivity in the team environment and brings everyone together as a team.
As a captain, you have a kind of a dual responsibility because as a non-captain, you only focus on your field and batting, but now you also have to run a team. I enjoy taking responsibility and it brings the best out of me.” (ANI)

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