There was no pressure of scoring a Test hundred – Babar Azam

For a man with a supposed inaptitude to Test cricket, Babar Azam does end up with an awful lot of big scores in the format. In his last four Test innings, the 24-year old has managed 92, 62, 13 and an unbeaten 127 on Sunday. It was his fifth 50-plus score in 10 innings this year, in which he averages nearly 68 with the bat. What Test inaptitude?
A quick glance through his run tallies across his fledgling career will answer that question, and explain his great relief at the innings he played on the second day in Dubai. For all of his prowess in 2018, Babar had never yet managed a three-figure score in this format, all the while scoring hundreds for fun in ODIs; he scored, remember, three of them in a row a couple of years back against West Indies. Besides, before 2018, his career average in Tests was under 24. It was nothing short of remarkable to see him struggle to get starts, given if you coloured the ball white and clad him in green, he would have surpassed that before your kettle had boiled.
It is an obscene simplification, of course, but obscenely simple is what Babar makes batting look. It would be particularly self-indulgent to assume saying this adds to the weight of expectations on him, but Pakistan haven’t had a middle-order batsman so cut out across formats since Inzamam-ul-Haq hung up his boots. There was, for a short while, the false dawn of Umar Akmal, but Babar keeps showing, time and again, he is the real thing. This was a player, still a very young player, mind you, seeing his ability to be competitive in Test cricket openly questioned, repeatedly told, at the very least, he was drafted in too early.