Babar Azam expressed his appreciation for Ricky Ponting’s statement in The ICC Review, where the Australian legend praised Babar’s potential to achieve more records as a batsman and captain in the future.
During a recent episode of The ICC Review, Ricky Ponting spoke highly of Babar, stating that he has the potential to surpass even more records as a cricketer in the future.
“I think Babar’s still got a little bit of improvement to come, which is a pretty scary thought with what he’s been able to do, pretty much across all three formats over the last three, four years. I love watching him play. I think there’s some room for improvement, let’s hope we see it,” Ponting said after Babar won the Sir Garfield Sobers Trophy for ICC Cricketer of the Year for the first time and ODI Cricketer of the Year for the second straight year.
Babar said it was a great thrill to hear what Ponting had said and that it would provide him with further confidence.
“You get confidence when a legendary player gives you a compliment and you try to be better. When such a huge player passes positive comments, it adds to your confidence and you have it in your mind that such a huge player is talking good about you,” Babar told ICC Digital.
“Because these players have been through a similar stage so they know what mindset I have. They have been through similar scenarios and have knowledge of the game. So yes, I try to take these comments in a positive way and try to produce my best,” he added.
Pakistan, under Babar’s captaincy, made it to the semi-finals of the T20 World Cup for the second time in a row, and Ponting believes that Babar has more room to learn and evolve as a leader.
“I must admit he looked like he got a little bit flustered at times at the T20 World Cup, certainly the game against India when things got really tight at the end,” Ponting said in January.
“You could see a few of the senior players, Shadab Khan in particular, going over to him and trying to settle him down and just make him think a little bit clearer. But that’s the T20 game. Being a captain of the T20 team is never an easy thing to do, especially in a World Cup, and especially in a moment that was as big as that one was when things were getting really tight. I’m sure with a bit more experience under his belt, like he’s done with his batting, I’m sure he’ll find the right way to lead and be a very successful captain of Pakistan,” he added.
When asked about his approach to leadership, Babar mentioned that he focuses on getting the best out of his teammates.
“My (captaincy) style is that you have to be honest with your decisions. Play the team that is best for Pakistan and go with the right players. When you are on the field, you have to give confidence to your players. The more you give confidence the better you can get out of them. What a player is thinking and how can you put him in his comfort zone, that is what matters to me,” said Babar.
Babar is comfortable collaborating and seeking advice from his peers when needed, and he specifically mentioned Imam-ul-Haq, Shadab Khan, and Mohammad Rizwan as the individuals he frequently consults with off the pitch.
“The good thing about us is we all are united. That’s a plus point for our team. When someone is down, he will already have a player to support him. That’s a positive sign for us as a team. It’s been five or six years that we are playing together so we know each other’s nature and mindset. Whenever there is such a situation we embrace each other and give confidence to ourselves,” Babar said.
Earlier, Babar Azam was handed over the reins of Peshawar Zalmi for the eighth edition of Pakistan Super League (PSL).
He stated that leading the Peshawar Zalmi team was an honor for him. He also acknowledged Peshawar Zalmi’s consistent performance as one of the best teams in PSL.
Peshawar Zalmi already won two out of three matches during this year PSL under the captaincy of Babar Azam.