Asia Cup 2023: File image of Babar Azam and Virat Kohli© AFP
Virat Kohli and Babar Azam have been two of the most celebrated batters among the modern-day greats. The sub-continent players have impressed in all three formats. Virat Kohli has so far played 111 Tests (8676 runs, average 49.29), 279 ODIs (13027 runs, average 57.38) and 115 T20Is (4008 runs, average 52.73). Pakistan captain Babar Azam, on the other hand, has so far played 49 tests (3772 runs, average 47.74), 107 ODIs (5380 runs, 58.47 average) and 104 T20Is (3485 runs, Average 41.48). Though Babar Azam is relatively much younger between the two, a comparison between has always dominated the narrative.
"Babar Azam is a champion. He comes back from these things time and time again because that's what champions do. When you think about the statistical comparison at the same stage, Virat Kohli vs Babar Azam, Babar Azam is actually leading that shoot-out match," Matthew Hayden, former Australia opener, told Star Sports, according to OneCricket.
"So that's how significant he is to the Pakistani team lineup and I am sure that he can do it in this shoot-out against Sri Lanka. Babar is central not only because he is the captain but he is absolutely central in terms of the talent of that batting unit."
Pakistan skipper Babar Azam recently claimed the ICC Men's Player of the Month award for the third time, bagging the award for August 2023. Babar who currently sits comfortably at the summit of the ODI rankings continued to impress with bat in the month of August.
His richness of form was reflected in his performances as he struck two fifties and a century. In Pakistan's ODI series against Afghanistan, Babar struck two fifties in the final two matches.
He brought up a 118-run stand with Imam-ul-Haq in the second ODI that laid the foundation for a thrilling last-over finale. Babar contributed 53 runs with the bat and was backed by Imam (91 runs) and the lower order.
Babar didn't stop there, he replicated his performance in the 3rd ODI with his exquisite knock of 60. His sublime batting skills were on display in the Asia Cup opener against Nepal. Babar's knock of 151 made him the first captain in the Asia Cup to score 150 or more than that.
"I am delighted to be named ICC Player of the Month for August 2023. The past month has been extraordinary for my team and I have put some terrific performances. With the Asia Cup coming to Pakistan after such a long time, it was great to play in front of the passionate and cricket-loving crowds of Multan and Lahore. That I scored my second ODI score of 150-plus in front of my own people in Multan doubled the joy," Babar said as quoted from ICC.
"I am looking forward to making the most of the form as we head into an exciting phase of cricket with the backend of the Asia Cup nearing and the ICC Men's Cricket World Cup around the corner. My team and I are eager to bring joy and happiness to the millions of Pakistan fans," Babar added.
With ANI inputs
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