Babar Azam, 25, has improved his game to turn into one of the finest batsmen for Pakistan in the present era. South African fast bowler Dale Steyn was critical of his abilities during the series against Pakistan in 2018-19, where he had launched a couple of attacks on Babar Azam. It was Babar’s batting expertise, which made Dale Steyn regret underestimating the Pakistan star.
Babar not just took Steyn to the cleaners but also scored 221 runs in the three-match series. Recalling about his duel with Babar, Steyn shared his view on the Pakistan batsman and how it has changed over the years.
“I love the fact that Babar came out and played with that aggressive mindset. I know I bowled like five half-volleys in a row to give him that opportunity to get onto that role. I think I probably underestimated his ability. He had a couple of great drives. I thought I would send it wider, but he was able to get on top of that as well,” Steyn stated.
Babar has a brilliant track record across format and has went on to become an integral part of the team. Steyn believes he used the duel as a stepping stone. It was more so because Steyn was the best bowler in his eyes.
“He has now gone on to make a billion runs since then. He used that as the stepping stone because he had taken on a bowler who, in his eyes, was one of the best. That is awesome. It is nice that there is a cat and mouse thing with everyone. When we face off next time, it is going to be back to zero. The past won’t matter. It’s nice that he has gone on to be as good as he is,” added Steyn.
Babar Azam has scored 1850 runs in Test, 3359 in ODIs, and 1471 in the shortest format of the game. He had a decent appearance with Karachi Kings in the PSL, notching up three half-centuries from 10 matches.