Azam, who last week was named the No. 1-player on the International Cricket Council’s (ICC) One-day International (ODI) rankings, needs only 60 more runs to break India skipper Virat Kohli’s record of fastest to 2,000 T20I runs.
The Indian, who also leads the Royal Challengers Bangalore (RCB) in the Indian Premier League (IPL), achieved the landmark in 56 innings. Azam, who has scored 1940 runs at 48.50 in 49 innings, will be eyeing the feat in the opening T20I on Wednesday (April 20).
The right-handed batsman struck his maiden T20I ton in Pakistan’s nine-wicket victory over South Africa in the third T20I at Centurion on April 14. He was also adjudged the ‘Player of the Series’ for his 210 runs at 52.50 in the four-match series.
Under Babar’s captaincy, Pakistan have won four T20I series — Bangladesh 2-0, Zimbabwe 3-0 and South Africa 2-1 at home and 3-1 away against South Africa – and drawn one against England (1-1).
If Pakistan make a clean sweep of the three-match series against Zimbabwe, they will gain one point and narrow the gap with third-ranked Australia to four points. Losing the series 3-0 will demote Pakistan to fifth spot equal with New Zealand on 255 points each.
Pakistan go into the series having won all five bilateral T20I series against Zimbabwe and have won all 14 T20Is.
The Asian team last visited Zimbabwe in July 2018, to feature in a tri-nation tournament involving Pakistan, Zimbabwe and Australia. Pakistan beat Australia by six wickets on July 8 at the Harare Sports Club to win the tournament.