From last couple of years Babar Azam has been compared to Indian bating mainstay Virat Kohli on number of occasions but this time it is Australian legend Michael Clarke who has called him Kohli of Pakistan.
Clarke’s comments came after Babar Azam slammed a sparkling century in Pakistan’s first warm-up game against Afghanistan on Friday.
“Babar Azam is real class no doubt about that. 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,” Clarke said during commentary.
The mention of this comment was made by Pakistan journalist Saj Sadiq on his twitter handle.
Azam scored 112 off 108 balls but rest of the Pakistan batters failed as Afghanistan restricted them to 262 in 47.5 overs.
In reply, Hashmatullah Shahidi hit an unbeaten 74 as the World Cup underdogs stunned former champions Pakistan to win by three wickets with two balls to spare.
However, Pakistan would take a lot of positives from Azam’s form. He was among runs even in the recently concluded ODI series against England and comparisons with Kohli too is nothing new for the Pakistan No. 3.
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.
“We have some serious batsmen in our team but he has the ability to be as good as anyone in the world,” Arthur said of the right-handed batsman. “If he’s getting us a 100, we’re comfortable we have the batsmen around him to get 300-320.