Last year, Pakistan’s head coach Mickey Arthur stated that Babar Azam’s batting reminds him of the Indian skipper Virat Kohli at the same age.
While the firebrand captain of Indian international cricketing squad Virat Kohli has reached the top echelon of the game – with spectacular performances in all formats of the sports in the recent years – Pakistan’s Babar Azam recently managed to clinch the limelight too – with many comparing him with the ace Indian batsman.
Last year, Pakistan’s head coach Mickey Arthur – thoroughly impressed with the 23-year-old Pakistani batsman’s performance – compared Azam with Kohli and stated that Azam’s batting reminds him of the Indian skipper at the same age.
However, in a recent interview, Azam clearly stated that no comparison should be drawn between the “No 1 batsman in the world” and him.
Speaking to ESPNCricinfo in an interview, Azam said, “He compared me with a very big player. I think it shouldn’t be done. But that is the coach’s thinking. Maybe the stats at the start of our careers are similar, but he is the No.1 batsman in the world. I want to perform at a high level for Pakistan too.”
The Pakistani batsman also mentioned that he used to follow South African batsman AB de Villiers in his early days – though he now takes much inspiration also from Virat Kohli and Hashim Amla.
“I loved watching AB de Villiers in the early days. I used to follow him closely. I copied him a lot too. In the nets, I used to at least try some of the shots he played in the matches. …I play normally. Nowadays I follow Virat Kohli, Hashim Amla, and of course, de Villiers,” said Azam.
Having played 36 One Day Internationals (ODI), with 1,758 runs at an average of 58.60 – Azam displayed remarkable performance during the ICC Champions Trophy 2017. The Pakistani sensation scored 46 runs off 52 balls in the finals of the tournament in which Pakistan bagged the Trophy, defeating arch rival India.