Premier Pakistan batter Babar Azam was in great form during the two-Test series against Australia where he accumulated 210 runs, which included a century and a fifty, at an average of 52.50.
After that, he scored 262 runs, which included two centuries in the recent two-Test series against Sri Lanka. Azam scored an unbeaten 102 in the first Test in Rawalpindi, while he made 100 not out in the second Test in Karachi.
Looking back at 2019, Babar said: “My innings in South Africa against Dale Steyn gave me great pleasure and confidence that I can get into the Test match zone. I also learned how to convert 60s and 70s into 100s, and then my century in Australia gave me confidence that I can make big runs in the format.
“When you score in places like South Africa, Australia and New Zealand against formidable bowling attacks, you get self-belief and confidence. I rate the century against Australia as my best innings of the year in Test format.
“Playing in front of home crowd was a special feeling. I am thankful to the Almighty that I succeeded in achieving my goal of scoring and winning a Test against Sri Lanka,” he added.
In six Tests in 2019, Babar scored 616 runs with the help of three centuries and three half-centuries. In 20 ODIs, he accumulated 1,092 runs at 60.66. His strike-rate was 93.30 and the runs tally included three centuries and six half-centuries.
In 10 T20Is, the right-handed batter contributed 374 runs at 41.55 with a strike-rate of 136.99.
Babar is currently featuring in the top-six across the three formats — No.6 in Tests, No.3 in ODIs and No.1 in T20Is.
“It was a great year for me. I learned a lot this year especially how to perform in all conditions. I used to score runs earlier, but sometimes I wasn’t able to give match-winning performances. I tried to improve on that aspect learned how to bat and win games under pressure, which was a big learning curve for me,” said Babar.
“This year, I played my first 50-over World Cup. It was a big occasion and I really enjoyed the event (Babar scored a Pakistan record 474 runs in the tournament at 67.71). As a kid, I used to follow World Cups very keenly on television. When I got selected for the big event, I set a goal of doing something big and different,” he added.
Pakistan lost the T20I series in Australia in November and Babar knows he has his task cut out when he leads the team down under for the World T20.
“It is a big honour that I got T20I captaincy this year, it makes me really proud. In Australia though we were not able to perform up to expectations, the team will rebuild gradually and I am quite hopeful that we will do well in the ICC T20 World Cup in 2020,” he added.