Former paceman Shoaib Akhtar recalled the then 15-years-old Babar Azam who faced his deliveries in nets quite bravely.
Babar, in an interview with Cricbuzz, reminisced about facing one of the fastest bowlers in cricket history at the age of 15.
“I remember, there was a camp for the emerging players or Pakistan A and our U-15 team was also called for it. Shoaib Akhtar would come there at times, towards the end of the camp to bowl for a bit. One day, he asked for a batsman to bowl at and Mudassar Bhai asked him to take me. So I got ready and was quite excited. Shoaib told me, ‘Kid, I will pitch the ball full, just block it, don’t drive’. I said okay. I blocked the first two balls but drove the third one,” Babar was quoted saying.
“I kept doing that, block two balls, and drive the third one. He was like, ‘Get me a new ball, I will show him’. Immediately, Mudassar Bhai told me, ‘get out of the nets or he will kill you’,” he added with a laugh.
Akhtar took notice of the interview on Twitter and praised the number one T20I batter. “He was talented then, he is talented now. Babar Azam faced me quite bravely in nets,” he wrote.
— Shoaib Akhtar (@shoaib100mph) June 11, 2020
It must be noted here that Babar has proved his mettle in all three formats of the game in a short span of time. He is now the captain of Pakistan in T20Is and ODIs.