Former Indian opener Gautam Gambhir believes that Babar Azam will eventually become Pakistan’s greatest batter by the time of his retirement. Gambhir highlighted Babar’s unwavering credentials as a batsman, emphasizing that stepping down from captaincy could unveil the best of Babar in that role.

After a lacklustre World Cup 2023 campaign, Babar Azam relinquished his captaincy across all formats. The team failed to qualify for the semi-finals, while Babar had a mixed run with the bat, scoring 320 runs in nine innings with four fifties. However, many cricket experts believe that his decision to relinquish leadership responsibilities might pave the way for his batting prowess to shine.

Gautam Gambhir during an interview with an Indian publisher stated, “It’s an individual choice of players to leave or accept captaincy. Babar Azam is still a top-quality batter for me. We might get to see the best of Babar Azam now. In Pakistan, all the blame as well as the appreciation only goes to the captain. It happens to an extent in India as well, but not to the level that it happens in Pakistan.”

Gambhir, aged 42, highlighted that relieving Babar Azam from captaincy pressure could enable him to play with greater liberty, ultimately benefiting both Babar and the Pakistan team.

“Babar Azam’s batting abilities were never in question. Doubts lingered over his captaincy. With this step aside, Babar is expected to ascend to new heights as a batsman. Presently, he’s among Pakistan’s premier batters. When Babar concludes his career, he’s poised to become Pakistan’s batting great. He has ample years ahead, around 10 perhaps, to continue excelling as a batsman. His potential is yet to be fully realized,” Gambhir remarked.

Babar Azam has so far amassed 3,772 runs in 49 Tests, 5,729 runs in 117 ODIs, and 3,485 runs in 104 T20Is respectively.

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