Babar Azam’s cover drive in Pakistan science text books

A cover drive so good that it’s now being studied by school kids to understand physics. Babar Azam’s wondrous cover drive, a fan-and-critics favourite, is now in science text books for ninth standard kids in Pakistan, used to explain the concept of kinetic energy.

So how many joules does Babar Azam impart? The book has it covered.

The page, prescribed by the Federal Board of Education, Pakistan, details the concept from classical mechanics; kinetic energy is equal to half of an object’s mass multiplied by the velocity squared measured in joules.

In the example 6.2 of the textbook, tweeted out by a Pakistani journalist Shiraz Hassan, the opening lines can be seen: “Babar Azam has hit a cover drive by giving kinetic energy of 150j to the ball by his bat. (a) At what speed will the ball go to the boundary if the mass of the ball is 120 g? (b) How much kinetic energy a footballer must impart to a football of mass 450 g to make it move at this speed?

Nitpickers will fuss that the Pakistani education board has chosen a very light ball for the example. The MCC states that the weight of the cricket ball should be between 155.9 grams to 163 grams in men’s cricket and between 140 to 151 grams for women’s. The textbook uses 120 gm.

The next two paragraphs in the textbook state the speed of the 120gram ball hit by a kinetic energy of 150 j to be having the speed of 50 m per second. The formula to derive the kinetic energy EK =1/2mv squared, from the works of the German rationalist philosopher Gottfried Leibniz and the Swiss mathematician Johann Bernoulli, both of whom described kinetic energy of an object as a living force.

The students are made to understand to derive the speed of the ball hit by Azam simply in the textbook by rearranging the formula in an effort to find the speed of the ball and making it v=2Ek/m and instructing students to take square root on both sides and deriving the speed of the ball to be 50m per second.

Fans love to compare Azam’s cover drive with Virat Kohli’s version and once, when the former England captain Nasser Hussain was asked to pick his favourite among the two, he said: “Sorry Indian fans. I am going to be biased and go with Babar Azam. I nearly went with Kohli but he is slightly different. He has the fast flick of the wrist but Babar has the conventional way of playing it. If any young boy wants to cover drive, I would say watch Babar Azam.”

Now, Babar Azam’s cover drive will help teach science to young kids in Pakistan, a textbook cover drive in more ways than one.

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