Pakistani cricket players celebrated the 29th birthday of their Captain, Babar Azam, on Sunday. The team had recently arrived in Bengaluru from Ahmedabad but kept the celebration relatively low-key due to it being a travel day. The small birthday function was attended by players and support staff.
The 29-year-old has played for Pakistan in 264 matches across all three forms so far, scoring 12,731 runs at a remarkable average of 49.15.
A century in all three formats is something that very few batters in the world have accomplished, including him. His biggest Test score of 196 came against Australia, when he played until the very end and prevented Pakistan from losing in March 2022.
In July 2021 in Birmingham, he achieved his highest ODI score of 158 against England. His greatest T20I score, achieved in April 2021 against South Africa, was 122.
Pakistan is getting ready to face Australia on October 20 at the M Chinnaswamy Stadium. This match follows their recent seven-wicket loss to India. Notably, this visit marks Pakistan’s first return to Bengaluru since 2012, when they secured a victory against India in a T20I match. Historically, Pakistan has only played two ODIs in Bengaluru, one during the 1996 World Cup quarterfinals and the other in the final of the Pepsi Cup in 1999. Pakistan lost the World Cup match but emerged victorious with a 123-run win against India in the Pepsi Cup.
An official traveling with the team expressed their happiness with being in Bengaluru, highlighting the city’s welcoming nature and cooler climate. They expressed hope that rain wouldn’t disrupt their matches, as there were reports of heavy rains in some parts of South India.
Pakistan’s remaining ICC World Cup 2023 matches include:
- October 23: Pakistan vs. Afghanistan in Chennai
- October 27: Pakistan vs. South Africa in Chennai
- October 31: Pakistan vs. Bangladesh in Kolkata
- November 4: Pakistan vs. New Zealand in Bengaluru (Day match)
- November 11: Pakistan vs. England in Kolkata
Day matches are scheduled to start at 10:00 am Pakistan Standard Time (PST), while all other matches will be day-night fixtures beginning at 01:30 pm PST. Currently, Pakistan holds the fourth position in the ICC World Cup 2023 standings with four points from three matches, while Australia ranks ninth.