Comparisons with Virat Kohli have been a stumbling block for many batsmen in world cricket but Pakistan’s Babar Azam has embraced the challenge wholeheartedly and will carry his country’s hopes at the World Cup.
Azam’s international career is just over 100 matches old, but his prowess with the bat has already broken several records.
He is the fastest batsman to reach 1,000 T20I runs, taking 26 innings to get there and dethroning Kohli in the process.
He also reached 1,000 ODI runs in 21 innings, a record he shared with an elite group of players, including West Indies great Viv Richards and England power-hitter Kevin Pietersen, until his Pakistan team mate Fakhar Zaman broke it last year.
Azam’s classy stroke-making has provided the platform for his record-breaking run spree, and he often single-handedly drives Pakistan to competitive totals in sluggish conditions in the United Arab Emirates, the national team’s adopted home.
Former World Cup-winning skipper Micheal Clarke hoarded Pakistan middle-order batsman Babar Azam with praise as he called him the Virat Kohli of Pakistan cricket team.
Babar Azam used to be considered an intense rival of Indian skipper Virat Kohli in early years of his career whereas Kohli carved his skills into God tier with time and he is already considered as one of the best cricketers in world.
However, despite that Pakistani batsman is still considered as one of the great player in the game.
Over the years Azam has been one of the most consistent batsmen for Pakistan and will be one of the important members for them for the 2019 showpiece event.
Michael Clarke praised Babar Azam after he scored a brilliant 112 of 108 deliveries against Afghanistan. However, his century went in vain as Afghanistan won the game with a couple of balls to spare.
Clarke believes that if Pakistan hopes to go through to the semi-final then a lot will depend on Babar Azam.
“Babar Azam is real class no doubt about that.”
Michael Clarke said while commentating. “For me, he’s the Virat Kohli of Pakistan’s line up. If Pakistan [want] to qualify for the semi-finals or final, a lot will depend on his young shoulders.”
Babar Azam will certainly be one of the main players for Pakistan in the World Cup and will look to make an impression for them. It will be the maiden World Cup for him and will look to make a mark in his World Cup debut.
Pakistan won’t be impressed after losing their opening warm-up clash against Afghanistan. Babar Azam put up a good performance but it wasn’t enough to secure a victory for Pakistan.
Pakistan will face Bangladesh in their 2nd World Cup warm-up clash. Meanwhile, they will start the main tournament on May 31 against the West Indies.