Babar credits De Villiers as batting inspiration: 'My ideal is everything he is'

Getty Images

Babar Azam has put his success as Pakistan captain down to his attempts to replicate South Africa great AB de Villiers.

Azam will lead Pakistan in a three-match Test series against England, starting this week in Rawalpindi. It is the tourists' first red-ball match in the country since 2005.

The form of the skipper will be key to Pakistan's hopes of marking the occasion with a victory following another impressive year with the bat.

Azam is averaging 73.44 in Tests in 2022 after two centuries and four fifties in nine innings, and ahead of facing England, he revealed his inspiration in an interview with Sky Sports.

"To be honest, my role model is AB de Villiers because I love him and the way he is playing and the way he is playing all the shots," Azam said.

"When I see him on the TV, the next day I am trying every shot in the nets. I try to copy De Villiers and try to look and play like De Villiers because my ideal is everything he is."

De Villiers, who retired from all forms of international cricket in 2018, had a Test batting average of 50.66 and scored 22 hundreds in the longest format.

Meanwhile, Babar is relishing the chance to take on England on home soil, adding: "We are looking forward to a historic series, and first of all, welcome to the England team.

"I know a few of the boys already in T20 format and a few new faces, so I think they will enjoy it a lot. We are looking forward to the series and everyone is ready."