Babar Azam last month surpassed Virat Kohli to become the world’s No. 1 T20I batter for the longest period of time. Virat Kohli was the No.1 ranked T20I batter for a total of 1,013 days.
Pakistan produced a number of legendary pacers who dominated the game over the past few decades. The post-Imran Khan era saw the formidable Wasim Akram-Waqar Younis pairing before tearaway pacer Rawalpindi Express Shoaib Akhtar took the centre stage in world cricket. About two decades hence, Pakistan batter skipper Babar Azam is ruling the batting charts along with spearheading the national side.
Babar Azam Backed By Imam-ul-Haq To Break Virat Kohli’s Multiple Records
The star batter last month surpassed Virat Kohli to become the world’s No. 1 T20I batter for the longest period of time. Virat Kohli was the No.1 ranked T20I batter for a total of 1,013 days during his reign last decade – a record that Babar Azam ended with his long-standing stay at the numero uno spot.
It was in 2016 that a young Babar Azam first burst onto the international scene. Cut to the present, he has notched up nearly 10,000 runs in international cricket. He has scored 9979 runs with 24 centuries and 66 half-centuries in 40 Tests, 89 ODIs, and 74 T20Is.
In the past few years, Virat Kohli, Steve Smith, Joe Root, and Kane Williamson had been headlining the ‘Fab 4’ list in international cricket. But Babar Azam has put his hand up for a spot in the elite panel, thanks to his consistent batting performances irrespective of the format.
It also has people- fans and experts of the cricket fraternity comparing the Pakistan captain with Virat Kohli, who remains one of the finest players despite the recent slump in his form. Babar Azam’s teammate and friend Imam-ul-Haq wants him to score three to four thousand more runs than Virat Kohli. But Imam-ul-Haq said Babar Azam still has a long way to go before people compare him with the Indian batter.
“Virat Kohli is a legend and there’s no doubt about that. If someone has played 240 plus matches and someone 80, then you can’t compare them. If you compare their careers right now, then Babar is way ahead, but as my best friend and captain of Pakistan, I want him to break plenty of Kohli’s records,” Imam-ul-Haq said.
“But right now, I can’t understand the comparisons. One has more than 10,000 runs. Yes, at the end of their careers, I want Babar to score 3 to 4 thousand runs more than Kohli in every format,” he added.
At present, Virat Kohli is struggling for runs, having scored an international hundred almost three years ago in 2019. He was left out of the India squad for the upcoming T20I series in West Indies. The BCCI did not specify if he had been dropped or rested.
Virat Kohli Backed By Sourav Ganguly To Come Back Into Form And Do Well
With several in-form batsmen pushing for a top-order berth, Virat Kohli’s place in the T20I set-up has come under the scanner, especially when the team is rehearsing for this year’s World T20I in Australia. But BCCI president Sourav Ganguly has backed the 33-year-old to regain his form.
“He himself knows by his own standards it has not been good and I see him coming back and doing well,” the former India captain had said.
“But he has got to find his way and become successful, which he has been for the last 12-13 years or more and only Virat Kohli can do that.”
Virat Kohli scored only 11 and 20 in the 5th Test against England. His poor form continued in T20Is too as he failed to make a mark on his comeback. The batting superstar was out for just 1 off 3 balls in the 2nd T20I and scored 11 off 6 balls in the 3rd T20I before a minor groin strain ruled him out of the 1st ODI. He scored 16 in the 2nd ODI.