Babar reveals he wanted to ‘copy’ the South African legend: ‘I saw him on TV and…’ | Cricket

Pakistan will return to action on December 1 when they face England in the first of three Tests at Rawalpindi. The two sides will renew their rivalry after the T20 World Cup grand final earlier this month, where England took a five-wicket win over Babar Azam’s men to take their second title. Ahead of the World Cup, England toured Pakistan with seven T20Is and the three Test series marks the England team’s first tour of the country in 17 years.

Prior to the start of the series, legendary former England captain Nasser Hussain sat down with Babar for a no-obligation chat, where the former discussed the Pakistani skipper’s early years in cricket. While Hussain started the discussion with Babar’s U19 days, the former England captain finally asked the player about his cricketing idol.

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Without thinking twice, Babar referred to former South African captain and legendary batsman AB de Villers as his ‘role model’.

“My role model is AB de Villiers. I love him. The way he’s played, the way he’s played his shots. I saw him on TV and the 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 on Pakistan Cricket’s official YouTube channel.

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

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

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