36, 36, 195, 67, 55, 57, 114, 105*, 66 - these were Pakistan captain Babar Azam's scores in all the innings that he batted across formats in the recently-concluded home series against Australia. Yes, the pitches were inclined towards the batters throughout the Test, ODI and T20I series but even then Babar's numbers are staggering. The right-hander has been at the top of his game, scoring runs at will be it against the red ball or white ball.
Such was Babar's dominance throughout the series that Australia white-ball captain Aaron Finch said he was "glad" that the visitors won't have to bowl to the prolific right-hander anymore now that the tour is completed.
"Glad that we don't have to bowl to Babar anymore," Finch said at the post-match presentation of the one-off T20I, which Australia won to end the tour on a high.
Finch, who had been short of runs in the ODI series, made a match-winning contribution in the T20I.
"I always had confidence, I always had faith. It's one of those things that you go through, some lean patches at times. Everyone can seem to panic, and as people get older people panic a little bit quicker."
Finch was one of only three players from the Australia team that won the T20 World Cup in the United Arab Emirates last year to play in the match after Covid-19 infections, injuries and the resting of players weakened the squad.
Marnus Labuschagne, Ben Dwarshuis, and Cameron Green were all awarded their T20 debuts on Tuesday but it was paceman Nathan Ellis who caught the eye in his third match with 4-28.
"Super proud of a relatively inexperienced group, plenty of lessons learned," said Finch.
Finch's team will not have long to wait to defend the World Cup with the next edition set to take place in Australia in October and November.
The captain was unconcerned that the hosts have only six T20 internationals lined up before the tournament starts, given the experience in the squad when everyone is available.
"The majority of that group will still be together so we can still talk and strategise," he said. "I don't think that that's going to be a problem."
Australia won the test series 1-0 before going down 2-1 in the one-day international series and winning the single T20 match on their first tour of Pakistan in 24 years.
"It's been unbelievable, the spirit from both teams," said Finch. "It's been some really good tough cricket but just a wonderful tour to be a part of, to be honest."