Sunil Gavaskar, the former India captain and renowned batter, believes that if Pakistan’s Babar Azam stays fit and determined, he will end up as one of the best players of all time by the time he retires. Gavaskar praised Pakistan captain Sarfraz Ahmed for his inspirational and calm leadership style, which has helped the team win the T20 World Cup in the United Arab Emirates. Pakistan is the only unbeaten team in the tournament, having won all five Super 12 games thus far, and will face Australia in the second semi-final on November 11. Gavaskar went on to say that the key to Pakistan’s success versus Australia will be to strike early.

Given the form of Australia’s openers David Warner and skipper Aaron Finch, Gavaskar believes that taking early wickets will be crucial for Pakistan’s success against them. “Pakistan has always been a dynamic team, boasting some of the game’s most naturally gifted players. An agitated temperament has held them back,” Gavaskar said in a Khaleej Times column. “With Babar Azam in charge, they are a calmer and more game-aware team this time. There’s little doubt that if Babar stays fit and determined, he’ll go down as one of the game’s all-time greats. What he has the potential to become is one of Pakistan’s finest captains.”

“His reading of the game situation is excellent, and the alterations that he has been making with the bowling and field placement have been unbelievably accurate,” Gavaskar said, praising Azam’s comprehension of game situations.

“Because of the range of bowling options he possesses, he will never be short of bowlers, which is a significant asset for any captain. They must get the early wickets because if the Finch-Warner partnership gets underway, it will be difficult to stop the Aussies,” he continued. He also remarked that Australia, the country with the most World Cup titles, would like to replicate its success in the shorter format, where they have yet to capture the elusive title. The best performance by Australia in the tournament’s history was their second-place finish in 2010.

“The ICC Men’s Twenty20 World Cup is the only trophy missing from Cricket Australia’s trophy cabinet, and they will be anxious to bring it back from the UAE”, he continued.