Babar Azam has an opportunity to replace Joe Root as World No.1 Test batter: Mahela Jayawardene

Former Sri Lanka captain Mahela Jayawardena believes that Babar Azam could dethrone Joe Root as the No.1 ranked Test batter in the near future.

Babar Azam has an opportunity to replace Joe Root as No.1 Test batter: Jayawardene (AP Photo)

HIGHLIGHTS

  • Babar Azam has an opportunity to replace Joe Root as No.1 Test batter: Jayawardene
  • Babar is the only player in the top three in the batters’ rankings in all three formats
  • Babar Azam has been consistent in all three formats: Mahela Jayawardene

Mumbai Indians coach and ex-Sri Lanka captain Mahela Jayawardena reckons that Pakistan skipper Babar Azam can replace Joe Root as the World’s No.1 ranked Test batter in the near future.

Joe Root has been ruling the roost at the top of the Test batter rankings since June this year, with the Englishman enjoying a fine World Test Championship, and in a rich vein of form under new coach Brendon McCullum. On the other hand, Babar is the only player in the top three in the batters’ rankings in all three formats, occupying the top spot in each of the white-ball formats and currently ranked No.3 in Tests.

With his recent rise on the Test charts, Babar has been vocal about being the undisputed No.1 in all formats of the game and Jayawardena said the Pakistan skipper is capable of achieving the difficult feat.

“I would say Babar Azam has an opportunity. He’s been consistent in all three formats and it shows in his rankings. He’s a naturally gifted player, plays in all conditions, he’s got the game to adapt as well. It depends on the amount of cricket, who’s playing when, and how much but Babar might be the guy,” Jayawardena said in the latest edition of the ICC Review.

Jayawardena then went into detail when quizzed about what makes Babar such a special player, with the former Sri Lanka captain indicating he was most impressed by the amount of time the Pakistan skipper has while at the crease.

“(I) think it is just the technique, the time that he has and the composure that he has out there in the middle. He’s not rattled at any time, whether he plays T20Is, ODIs, or Tests, he adjusts quite brilliantly.”

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