'Saw him on TV and very next day, I tried his shots. I love him': Babar reveals he wanted to 'copy' South Africa legend

Updated on Nov 30, 2022 08:35 PM IST

Pakistan captain Babar Azam made a massive revelation on his “role model” during his initial years in cricket.

Rawalpindi: Pakistan's skipper Babar Azam speaks during a press conference, in Rawalpindi, Pakistan, Wednesday, Nov. 30, 2022.AP/PTI Photo
(AP11_30_2022_000117B)(AP)
Rawalpindi: Pakistan's skipper Babar Azam speaks during a press conference, in Rawalpindi, Pakistan, Wednesday, Nov. 30, 2022.AP/PTI Photo (AP11_30_2022_000117B)(AP)

Pakistan will return to action on December 1 when the side takes on England in the first of three Tests in Rawalpindi. The two teams will renew their rivalry after the marquee T20 World Cup final clash earlier this month, where England had registered a five-wicket win over Babar Azam's men to lift their second title. Ahead of the World Cup, England had toured Pakistan for a seven T20Is and the three-Test series marks the English team's first tour of the country in 17 years.

Ahead of the start of the series, England's legendary former captain Nasser Hussain sat down with Babar for a free-wheeling conversation, where the former touched upon the Pakistan skipper's initial years in cricket. While Hussain began the discussion with Babar's U19 days, the former English captain eventually asked the player about his cricketing idol.

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Without a further thought, Babar named former South African captain and legendary batter AB de Villers as his “role model.”

“My role model is AB de Villiers. I love him. The way he has played, the way he played his shots. I saw him on the TV and the very next day, I tried his shots in the nets. I tried to copy AB de Villiers, tried to look and play like him. He is my idol,” Babar said in the interview posted on Pakistan Cricket's official YouTube channel.

de Villiers represented South Africa between 2004-2018 and made his name as one of the most destructive batters in world cricket. Fondly known as ‘Mr. 360’ due to his incredible ability to hit the ball across all parts of the ground, the former South African batter ended both – his Test and ODI careers with a 50+ average.

Babar Azam, meanwhile, is widely considered as one of the best batters among the current crop of players. The Pakistan captain is among the top-5 in all the three formats in the ICC Rankings (3rd in Tests, 1st in ODIs, and 4th in T20Is).

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