Virat Kohli best in the world, can’t be compared to him: Babar Azam

first_imgPakistan batting sensation Babar Azam said he would not want people to draw comparisons with Virat Kohli as the Indian captain was way ahead of the rest of the pack.Azam, 23, has played only 36 ODIs but has scored seven hundreds including three on the trot against West Indies last year. He has so far scored 1758 runs at an average of 58.60 and many feel he can go on to become one of the greats in limited-overs cricket.Kohli, who scored 2818 international runs and 11 hundreds in 2017 is currently No.2 in Tests and No.1 in ODIs and T20Is. Azam, who finished 2017 with 872 runs from 18 ODIs is ranked No.4 in the ICC’s rankings for ODI batsmen, behind Kohli, AB de Villiers and David Warner. (Kohli best across formats, Steve Smith best in Tests: Michael Vaughan)However, Azam wants to stay grounded and said Pakistan coach Mickey Arthur should not have compared him to a player of Kohli’s stature.”He compared me with a very big player. I think it shouldn’t be done,” Azam told ESPNcricinfo. “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.” (Kohli has best work ethics in Indian team: Cheteshwar Pujara to India Today)Azam said he grew up watching and wanting to copy South African legend AB de Villiers. Incidentally, Kohli and de Villiers are close friends and play for Royal Challengers Bangalore in the IPL.advertisement”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,” he said.Azam is yet to make an impact in Test cricket where he averages a mere 23.75 after 11 Tests. Kohli is the only player in the world to average over 50 in all three formats of the game.Last December, during Pakistan’s tour of Australia, Arthur had said Azam reminded him of a young Kohli.”I’ll go so far as to say, at the same age, I reckon he’s as good as Virat Kohli, which I know that’s high praise but he’s right up there,” Arthur had told Perth’s 6PR radio. (Virat Kohli finishes 2017 with 2818 international runs)Kohli is the only batsman to slam double hundreds in four successive Test series and recently broke Brian Lara’s record for most Test double hundreds as captain.The 29-year-old Delhi run-machine is also second in the list of most century scorers in ODIs behind Sachin Tendulkar.last_img read more