The latest top-ranked batsman in One Day International format, Babar Azam, has revealed that Virat Kohli’s tips have engineered the best out of him. Putting an end to Indian skipper Virat Kohli’s 41-month long reign as the number one ODI batsman, Pakistan’s Azam leapfrogged to the top spot and claimed the crown.
Azam has been frequently compared to Kohli by the fans ever since broke into the international circuit. On April 14 (Wednesday), the Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) released a video soon after Azam topped the chart. In that video, the 26-year-old revealed to Imam-ul-Haq how Team India skipper Virat Kohli’s advice helped him to excel in his game.
Babar Azam dethrones Virat Kohli as No.1 ODI batsman
“Previously, I used to play at nets with a casual mind but slowly I overcame this. I understood that If I am not taking my sessions seriously, how can I perform in matches?,” Babar Azam said.
“In this regard, I once talked to Virat Kohli and he told me to take net sessions as seriously as matches. If you get out and play rash shots in nets, subsequently you will do the same in a match,” he added.
“His advice helped me and now I don’t get satisfied with my batting at nets. If my next session doesn’t go well, I am disturbed throughout the day,” Babar Azam added.
Babar Azam became the fourth Pakistani cricketer to become the number 1 ODI batsman. Only the likes of Zaheer Abbas, Javed Miandad, and Mohammad Yousuf had achieved this feat before. In 80 ODIs, Azam has scored 3808 runs at an average of 56.84. His streaks include 13 ODI centuries and 17 half-centuries.
He made his ODI debut against Zimbabwe at Gaddafi Stadium on May 31, 2015. Azam has provided Pakistan with the consistency that they needed in their line-up. He has often been noted as one of the most talented batsmen in ODI. Azam’s brilliant U-19 performances persuaded the selectors to fetch him a contract in the seniors’ team.