Having climbed to the top of the ICC's men's ODI batting rankings, Babar Azam has his eyes set on doing the same in Test cricket.
Babar dethroned Indian maestro Virat Kohli as the world's top batsman in one-day cricket and then gave a batting masterclass to lead Pakistan to a nine-wicket win in the third Twenty20 international against South Africa at SuperSport Park in Centurion on Wednesday.
Babar hit 122, his first T20 international century, with 15 fours and four sixes in an exhibition of superb timing and placement as Pakistan took a 2-1 lead in the four-match series.
"I feel privileged and honored to have joined the company of stalwarts like Zaheer Abbas, Javed Miandad, and Mohammad Yousuf, who will always be the shining stars of Pakistan cricket. This is another milestone in my career, which will now require even more hard work and absolute consistency with the bat in order for me to hold on to the ranking for an extended period of time, like Sir Vivian Richards from January 1984 to October 1988 and Virat Kohli for 1,258 days," Babar said in a statement after climbing number one in ODI rankings.
"I have also previously topped the T20I rankings, but the ultimate ambition and goal are to lead the Test rankings, which are the real testament and reward to a batsman's caliber, reputation, and skills. I understand to achieve this objective, I will not only have to perform consistently but more importantly, against the top sides," he added.
"I had been waiting for this for a long time, I had planned for a long time, and today Allah has given me a chance to finish it. I stick to my strengths and play according to them, and the team's requirements. I struggled hard, there was a lot of hard work that went into it. I keep trying to learn and add new things to my game, and I will keep trying to do the same," he said after making maiden T20 hundred.