He said that the Pakistan captain should be able to perform well consistently regardless - even when being compared to Virat Kohli.
It is fair to say that Babar Azam has made huge developments as an all-format cricket player in the past year and a half. The world’s no. 1 T20I batsman seems to have finally learned how to apply his skill and knowledge in the shortest format to the longest format - Tests. Since January 2018, he has scored 1132 runs in 24 innings in 14 Tests with an average of 56.60. He has also scored nine half-centuries and three hundreds.
As is the case with every young batsman who’s had a single, great performance, the comparisons to cricket greats were inevitable. Babar Azam is being compared to the best batsman in the world right now - Virat Kohli. Both Babar and Virat are the only batsmen who are in the top-ten rankings across all formats of the game, and Pakistani fans, as well as their media, have already talked up comparisons with the Indian superstar.
Former Pakistan captain Javed Miandad feels that Azam should not focus on the comparison and instead on being able to perform consistently day-in and day-out, for his country. ‘Babar is a phenomenal batsman but he has to continue performing for his country. From my experience, I can say that I would never worry about comparisons with any other player but continue performing well for my country. My bat would do the talking and I suggest Babar do the same’.
‘The only time to compare oneself to another is after you have scored enough runs and you can look back at your career with pride. There is no point talking about comparisons ahead of time. My advice to Babar Azam is, don’t worry about comparisons, just put your head down, score heavily and work hard’, he later added.
He also feels that putting Babar Azam in charge of the T201 team was a mistake. ‘Babar should have been made vice-captain which would have given him breathing space to learn the tricks of the trade. By making him T20I captain, we may have added too much pressure on his batting which could backfire on Pakistan’.
Earlier this month, Babar Azam had downplayed the comparison to Virat Kohli. In an interview, he said ‘Look he (Kohli) has already achieved a lot. He is a legend in his country. Honestly, there is no comparison with me right now but eventually, I also want to get to where he is today. The media and people have drawn comparisons between me and Virat Kohli but I realise that I still need to get more runs in red-ball cricket to be ranked among the top players. That is why in recent months I have been focusing a lot on getting consistent scores in Test matches’.
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