Ever since Babar Azam shot to fame with consistent performances across all three formats, he has been compared to India’s Virat Kohli. Watching Kohli cream a classic cover drive is a visual treat for every cricket fan. Labelled as one of the best batters to play the shot, he is often likened to Babar, who has also got an elegant cover drive in his arsenal. Both have seen phenomenal spells in world cricket, which leads to the much-talked-about ‘Kohli vs Babar’ debate. The comparisons between them are rife as fans keep coming up with stats to prove who is better between the two.
Former Pakistan cricketer and current head coach Saqlain Mushtaq gave his verdict on the two batters while speaking to Sportskeeda Cricket. When he was asked to name his pick, he chose Babar but passed on a special message to Kohli. “Definitely Babar kahunga… but Virat mere dil ke bohot karib hai (I will definitely pick Babar, but Virat is close to my heart)” he said.
Sri Lanka’s legendary cricketer Sanath Jayasuriya also shared his opinion about the two prolific cricketers. “I like Virat Kohli. He is my favourite player and also my son’s favourite player to,” he said.
Prior to the T20 Asia Cup, Babar took social media by storm with his heartfelt tweet for Kohli, who witnessed an extended lean patch in world cricket. He didn’t manage an international ton since November 2019 before touching the three-figure mark against Afghanistan on Thursday.
It was Kohli’s 71st international ton – his first ever in a T20 for India – after a gap of 1,020 days. He ended his dry run with the bat to score two successive half-centuries and then an unbeaten 122 off 61 balls in the T20 Asia Cup.
Kohli entered the competition after a month-long break from tours of the West Indies and Zimbabwe. He also talked of mental struggles in his lean patch and only former captain MS Dhoni reaching out to him when he stepped down as India’s Test captain.
“I was a bit shocked because this was the format I least expected a century to come in any time soon, but it’s all God’s blessings,” the 33-year-old said after scoring the elusive 71st hundred.
“I have been working hard and this was just a moment which was very special for me and the team as well. “What actually surprised me was my 60s became failures, which was quite shocking for me. I was batting pretty well and contributing, but it didn’t seem to be good enough.”