Babar Azam has become the fifth Pakistani captain to win his debut series after Pakistan’s 2-0 series win over South Africa. The previous captain to achieve the feat was middle-order batsman Saleem Malik who won his debut series against New Zealand in 1994.
Babar is the first Pakistani Test captain to clean-sweep an opponent in his debut series.
Fazal Mahmood, Mushtaq Mohammad, and Javed Miandad are the other three Pakistani captains in history to win their debut series. Mushtaq Mohammad and Javed Miandad won 3-match series against New Zealand and Australia with a margin of 2-0 and 1-0 respectively.
Babar was appointed as captain of the Test side prior to the team’s tour of New Zealand in December 2020. Babar suffered a thumb injury which ruled him out of the tour. Pakistan went onto lose the series 2-0 without their captain and spine of the batting unit. Babar stepped onto the field as Test captain for the first time against South Africa in the first Test match at National Stadium Karachi.
This was Pakistan’s first Test series win against South Africa since 2004. Since 2004, Pakistan and South Africa have played six test series. South Africa had won 4 of them and 2 series were drawn. Inzamam-ul-Haq, Shoaib Malik, Misbah-ul-Haq, and Sarfaraz Ahmed were the captains during the six series.
Pakistan won both matches comfortably, winning the first by seven wickets and the second by 95 runs. The series win also helped Pakistan leapfrog Sri Lanka and South Africa in the ICC team rankings and they are now ranked fifth in the world, their highest ranking since 2017.
Pakistan captains to win their debut Test series are as follows:
|Fazal Mahmood||West Indies||2-1||1959|
|Mushtaq Mohammad||New Zealand||2-0||1976|
|Saleem Malik||New Zealand||2-1||1994|
|Babar Azam||South Africa||2-0||2021|