The Pakistan and Somerset batsman Babar Azam is leading the T20 batting chart in 2019 with 1,193 runs at an average of 47.72. In his most recent innings for Somerset in the Vitality T20 Blast on Saturday, Babar scored 63 going past AB de Villiers, who has 1,160 runs in 2019. The 24-year-old has scored these runs for three different teams – Pakistan, Karachi Kings and Somerset.
Babar also scored his maiden T20 century this year when he racked up 101 for Pakistanis against Leicestershire in the warm-up match before the one-off T20I against England. He followed it with another hundred in England scoring 102 not out in Somerset’s victory over Hampshire at the Rose Bowl this month.
Babar (1,193) is closing in on breaking Umar Akmal’s record for most T20 runs by a Pakistani batsman in a calendar year. Akmal, who also happens to be his first cousin, registered 1,386 runs in 51 innings in 2016. Babar at the moment has 1,193 runs in 27 innings this year and is set to play at least two more innings for Somerset and then will have six innings for Pakistan in T20Is (three each against Sri Lanka and Australia).
The world record for most runs in a year is 1,665 by Chris Gayle in 2015. If Babar gets to play the National T20 tournament at home this year, he will have a bright chance of toppling Gayle’s tally.
In his latest knock for Somerset, Babar also completed 4,000 runs in T20 cricket. He reached there in just 115 innings becoming the third-fastest to the milestone only behind Shaun Marsh (113) and Chris Gayle (107). At 24 years and 313 days, he is also the second youngest to the milestone after his compatriot Ahmed Shehzad who was 24 years and 293 days in 2016 when he reached the milestone.
However, it should be mentioned here that the top order batsmen in T20s have a far better opportunity of achieving milestones in lesser innings compared to the middle or lower-order batsmen. In terms of strike-rate at the time of scoring 4,000 runs, Babar (124.22) is 70th in the list of 90 batsmen who have 4,000 runs.
Babar with 541 runs at 60.11 is the leading run-getter in the 2019 Vitality T20 Blast. He is also the first batsman ever to score 500plus T20 runs in his maiden county season breaking record of Martin Guptill who amassed 476 runs for Derbyshire in 2011.
The number one batsman in the ICC T20 Rankings is also the first from his country to score 500 runs in any tournament. The world record for most runs in a series/tournament belongs to Virat Kohli who accumulated 973 runs in 16 innings for Royal Challengers Bangalore in the IPL 2016.
Of his 115 innings in T20 cricket, Babar has been the top-scorer for his team on 40 occasions. His percentage (34.78) of being the best batsman for his team is the highest among all batsmen who have featured in at least 100 innings. The next best is Chris Gayle (32.97) who has top-scored in 124 out of 376 innings followed by Shaun Marsh (31.73) top scoring 53 out of 167 innings.