Karachi December 26, 2022: Pakistan captain Babar Azam broke the 16-year-old record held by Mohammad Yousuf in the first innings of the opening Test against New Zealand in Karachi.
Babar Azam now holds the record for the most runs in a calendar year by a Pakistan batter, going past Mohammad Yousuf's aggregate of 2435 runs in 2006. Batting on 54* at the end of the first session, Babar has 2477 runs across all formats in 2022.
Most runs by Pakistan player in a calendar year:
The half-century also means he now holds the record for most scores of 50 or more in a calendar year. This was Babar's 25th 50+ score, surpassing Ricky Ponting's record of 24 in 2005.
Despite the contrasting fortunes of the team in Test cricket this year, the skipper has shone in the format with more than 1000 runs in nine matches. In this calendar year, only three other batters have managed to hit the four-figure mark in Tests.
<blockquote class="twitter-tweet"><p lang="en" dir="ltr">𝟐𝟒𝟑𝟔* – <a href="https://twitter.com/babarazam258?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">@babarazam258</a> has now scored the most runs for a 🇵🇰 batter in international cricket in a calendar year<a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/PAKvNZ?src=hash&ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">#PAKvNZ</a> | <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/TayyariKiwiHai?src=hash&ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">#TayyariKiwiHai</a> <a href="https://t.co/rF6JPVWD6d">pic.twitter.com/rF6JPVWD6d</a></p>— Pakistan Cricket (@TheRealPCB) <a href="https://twitter.com/TheRealPCB/status/1607255772030971905?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">December 26, 2022</a></blockquote> <script async src="https://platform.twitter.com/widgets.js" charset="utf-8"></script>
Like his innings so far in the Boxing Day Test, Babar has often been the lone warrior for Pakistan with his runs coming when Pakistan's backs have been against the wall.
The 28-year-old has shown similar consistency in ODI cricket this year as well, scoring 679 runs in nine matches. In eight of those matches, he has registered scores of 50 or more while also marshalling his troops to three series victories.
In the shortest format, he has accumulated 735 runs at a healthy average of 31.95 while striking at 123.32.
Most runs in a calendar year:
Pakistan will be hoping that their captain can add to the runs in the ongoing Test. If he does so, he could leapfrog several legends in the all-time list and move into the top 10.