Babar Azam becomes highest run scorer in T20I, breaks Virat Kohli’s record

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The opening match of the ICC T20 World Cup 2024 for Pakistan was full of mixed emotions. Captain Babar Azam registered his name in history by becoming the leading run-scorer in T20 Internationals. He surpassed Virat Kohli’s record, but his individual performance sparked debate among fans as it was like a Test match inning.

Pakistan’s batting lineup shaked in the initial overs against the co-hosts, USA. Facing a disciplined bowling attack, they slumped to a precarious position at 26-3 within the powerplay. This early collapse put immense pressure on Babar Azam, who shouldered the responsibility of reviving the inning.

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He played a crucial knock of 44 runs, the highest score for Pakistan in the match. This valiant effort helped stabilize the innings and stage a fightback against the American bowlers. However, a section of the Pakistani fanbase wasn’t entirely satisfied with Babar’s performance. They criticized his strike rate of 102.33, labeling his knock as “Test match” batting in a fast-paced T20 format.

Despite the criticism, Babar’s knock achieved a remarkable feat. He surpassed Virat Kohli, the former record holder, to become the batsman with the most runs in T20 Internationals. Babar has now scored a staggering 4,067 runs in 120 matches, surpassing Kohli’s previous record of 4,038 runs in 118 matches.

While some fans questioned his approach, this achievement is a to Babar’s consistency and exceptional batting skills over the years. Reaching the 4,000-run milestone in T20Is is a significant accomplishment, highlighting his ability to adapt to the demands of the shortest format of the game.

It’s important to consider the context of the match. Pakistan’s early batting collapse created a situation where consolidation of the innings was crucial. Babar’s measured approach might not have yielded a high strike rate, but it provided much-needed stability at a critical juncture. His knock, along with a quick-fire 40 from Shadab Khan, helped Pakistan reach a respectable total of 159 runs in their 20 overs.

This match showcased the double-edged sword of captaincy, particularly in a high-pressure tournament like the T20 World Cup. While Babar’s record-breaking feat deserves recognition, his captaincy decisions and batting approach will inevitably be scrutinized by fans and experts.

The upcoming matches will be a true test for Babar’s leadership and his ability to balance individual brilliance with the team’s overall strategy. One thing is for sure – all eyes will be on him as he leads Pakistan on their quest for T20 World Cup 2024 glory. Whether he can silence the critics and translate his record-breaking form into team success remains to be seen.