Team India cricketer Virat Kohli heaped praise on Pakistan skipper Babar Azam ahead of the arch-rivals clash on Sunday, August 28 at the Dubai International Cricket Stadium. He admitted that Babar Azam is probably the best batter in the world right now across formats. The Pakistan skipper currently ranks at the top in the One-Day Internationals as well as the T20 International rankings.
Babar Azam has been in terrific form this year for Pakistan across formats. The right-handed batter has scored 1406 runs at an average of 78.11, including five centuries across formats this year. He shares a great camaraderie with Virat Kohli over the years, despite comparisons drawn by the fans. Recently, a video went viral of the duo interacting with each other post the training session.
Recalling his first interaction with Babar Azam, Virat Kohli said to Star Sports,
“The first interaction I had with him was (during the) 2019 World Cup after the game in Manchester. Imad (Wasim), whom I have known since U-19 cricket because we played against each other, said Babar wanted to have a chat. We sat down, and spoke about the game.”
Praising the Pakistan cricketer, Virat Kohli expressed that he has always enjoyed watching Babar Azam play. He lauded the 27-year-old’s batting talent and consistency. Virat Kohli said,
“I saw a lot of regard and respect from him from day 1. And that hasn’t changed, regardless of the fact that he is probably the top batsman in the world right now across formats, performing so consistently. Rightly so, he has an amazing talent. I have always enjoyed watching him play.”
Virat Kohli also added that Babar Azam’s attitude towards him has not changed over the years after achieving success at the International level. He expressed that Babar Azam’s nature is a testament to his strong upbringing.
You need players like Babar Azam to keep world cricket exciting: Virat Kohli
Team India cricketer Virat Kohli further expressed that players like Babar Azam inspire other cricketers to do well, and go a long way. He congratulated the Pakistan skipper for his success in International cricket and wished him the best for the future.
“These kinds of players and characters go a long way. They inspire a lot of people. I see that happening with him as well. I congratulated him for how he has been playing and I told him how amazing to watch it is. Wish him the best and he deserves all of this. Eventually, you need players like him to keep world cricket exciting,” said Virat Kohli.