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Babar Azam Among Top Five of Shane Watson’s Current Crop

Shane Watson, a former Australia all-rounder, has placed the current generation of ‘big five’ Test bats in order in his newest episode of The ICC Review, and his ranking is sure to spark debate, as will his views on Steve Smith.

Shane Watson, a former Australia all-rounder, has placed the current generation of ‘big five’ Test bats in order in his newest episode of The ICC Review, and his ranking is sure to spark debate, as will his views on Steve Smith.

For years, India’s Virat Kohli, New Zealand’s Kane Williamson, England’s Joe Root, and Australia’s Steve Smith formed an unofficial ‘big four,’ but more lately, Australia’s Marnus Labuschagne and Pakistan’s Babar Azam have added their names to the mix with years of excellent performances.

Marnus Labuschagne, the world’s current No. 1 Test hitter with a 54.31 average in 26 Test matches, would have expanded the ‘big five’ to a ‘big six,’ but was left out of the debate for this topic because the criteria chosen were a 40-Test minimum.

During the last three-Test series against Australia, Azam finished as Pakistan’s second-highest run-scorer, and Watson was sufficiently impressed.

Watson, however, believes Azam still has a long way to go to earn the top spot in the prestigious group, with the former Australian great choosing Kohli as his first choice, despite the former India skipper’s lack of a Test century since November 2019.

TEST CAREER STATSMatchesInningsRunsHSAvg100s50s
Virat Kohli1011718043254*49.952728
Babar Azam4071285119645.98621
Steve Smith85151801023959.772736
Kane Williamson86150727225153.572433
Joe Root117216988925449.192553

Record of Babar Azam

According to the ICC Men’s Test Batting Rankings, Azam is the world’s fifth-best batsman and appears to be on the rise, based on his recent efforts against Australia. Azam scored a brilliant 196 in the second Test in Karachi, giving him a total of 390 runs for the series.

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