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In many ways, 2023 was a year that Pakistan’s top batsman Babar Azam wouldn’t look back on with much fondness. Pakistan was not able to win a home Test series, qualify for the Asia Cup final, or advance to the ODI World Cup semi-finals under his leadership. The former captain of Pakistan, Babar, hasn’t shown any improvement in his batting either during the current Australian tour. Babar’s Melbourne innings came to an end on Wednesday when Australia captain Pat Cummins struck a breathtaking blow to end the batter’s innings.

Only an over had passed when Babar had reached the crease, and Cummins, who had also claimed the earlier wicket, was in the middle of a devastating spell. With a length delivery, Cummins caused the ball to seam inwards with such ferocity that Babar believed he had the line covered. However, the ball made just enough movement to get past the bat-pad gap and end the Pakistani player’s run.
In the longest format of the game, Shan Masood assumed leadership after Babar resigned as captain, while star pacer Shaheen Afridi was named captain for the Twenty20 Internationals. As of yet, no official announcement has been made regarding ODI leadership.

In the first Test of the series in Perth, where the team was crippled by a massive 360-run deficit, Babar scored 21 and 14. The batsman for Pakistan has had a difficult time since the October–November ODI World Cup, when he scored 320 runs in nine matches overall with four fifty-plus scores. He was forty on average. After his dismal World Cup performance, many had pushed for Babar to resign as captain, believing that his batting would improve without the pressure of captaincy.

Aamer Jamal claimed three wickets as Pakistan defeated Australia for 318 in the Melbourne Test. The hosts’ top scorer in the first innings was Bruno Labuschagne (63). After Imam-ul-Haq (#10) left the game early, Pakistan suffered a blow, but Masood (#2) and Abdullah Shafique (#62) combined for a 90-run partnership to salvage the innings.

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