Babar Azam and Virat Kohli are inarguably the two most prominent names in the world of cricket currently. Two stalwarts of the game and captains of their respective teams, Babar and Kohli, have carved a sensational career across formats. Be it Test matches, ODI cricket, or T20s, both players have dominated every hurdle coming their way. But the question stands, what if the two pitted against each? Babar Azam vs Virat Kohli – who would win the battle?
Both Kohli and Babar are enigmas in their own right. But Virat Kohli vs Babar Azam calls for a fascinating battle. Both batsmen are currently at the peak of their powers and the most prominent entities in their respective countries. Let’s first see where Virat Kohli vs Babar Azam shapes up with regards to the ICC rankings.
Test – Virat Kohli: 6 | Babar Azam: 7
ODI – Babar Azam: 1 | Virat Kohli: 2
T20I – Babar Azam: 2 | Virat Kohli: 4
In actuality, though, the comparison of the overall statistics of Babar Azam vs Virat Kohli would be a bit unfair. Kohli made his international debut in 2008, and by 2015, he had already played more than 200 matches for India across formats. Babar, on the other hand, made his ODI debut only in 2015.
Here is the comparison of the overall statistics between Virat Kohli and Babar Azam.
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Babar Azam vs Virat Kohli
It is abundantly clear with one look at the numbers that Kohli has been around for a while and is a superstar. His ODI stats are better than anyone currently playing the game. Kohli has played 254 ODI matches where he has scored 12,169 runs at a batting average of 59.07 at a strike rate of 93.2. He has already amassed 62 half-centuries and 43 centuries to his name. He is not too far behind Sachin Tendulkar in terms of both runs and centuries. Indeed, there isn’t a better batsman than Kohli in the ODI format currently.
On the other hand, Babar has played 83 ODI matches where he has scored 3985 runs at an average of 56.93. The Pakistan captain has 17 half-centuries and 14 centuries to his name.
In Test cricket, the Indian batsman has been a part of 96 matches and has scored 7765 runs at an average of 51.09, including 27 half-centuries and 27 centuries. Babar’s Test stats are also pretty impressive. He has played 35 Tests in which he has scored 2362 runs averaging 42.95 with 18 half-centuries and 5 tons.
Kohli has been relentless even in the shortest format of the game. In 90 T20 International matches, Kohli has recorded 3159 runs at an average of 52.65. Pakistani batsman Babar, currently the second-ranked batsman in T20Is, has played 61 games in which he has 2204 runs averaging 46.89.
The fact that Kohli played international cricket for more than seven years before Babar made his debut does make his statistics seem a lot better. To make things slightly fair, let’s also compare the statistics of the two batsmen since Babar made his international debut.
Babar made his international debut on 31 May 2015. Let’s compare the records of Babar Azam, Virat Kohli during the time frame.
Babar Azam vs Virat Kohli
Comparison in Statistics From May 31, 2015
Since 31, May 2015 Kohli has played 96 ODI matches for India in which he has scored 5632 runs at a phenomenal average of 71.29 with 29 half-centuries and 21 tons to his name. Even by Kohli’s lofty standards, that is an outstanding achievement. During this same time, Babar has 3985 runs with 17 half-centuries, and 14 tons in 83 matches played at an average of 46.89.
In the Test arena, Virat Kohli has played 63 matches since 31 May 2015 and has scored 5218 runs averaging 53.79 with 17 half-centuries and 17 centuries to his name. At the same time, Babar has turned out in 35 matches for Pakistan, averaging 42.95 with 18 fifties and five centuries.
It is no secret that Babar is a giant in the T20 arena and is the only format where he pips Kohli in terms of runs. Since 31 May 2015, Kohli has played 62 T20I matches and scored 2187 runs averaging 56.08. Babar Azam, during this time, has played 61 T20I games in which he averages 46.89 and has scored 2204 runs. Babar also has a century in the shortest format of the game, something which Kohli does not.
Conclusion of Babar Azam vs Virat Kohli
From the numbers, it is abundantly clear that Kohli is a better Test and ODI batsman than Babar. However, when it comes to the T20 format, Babar takes the cake. Babar Azam’s success in the T20 format is down to his great understanding of his game and when to accelerate. He is easily one of the best Pakistani batters in the format. Babar has grown up watching the likes of Mohammad Yousuf, Javed Miandad and Zaheer Abbas, and his batting is undoubtedly a mixture of the trio. A lot of the Pakistan batting revolves around him across formats, much like the Indian batting revolves around Kohli. Is Babar the best T20I batsman? This question is out for debate with the likes of Rohit Sharma, Kane Williamson, Martin Guptill, all in the reckoning.
In ODIs, there isn’t a single batsman in the current generation better than Kohli. His numbers are beyond phenomenal, and he is also known as the chase master.
As far as Tests are concerned, Steve Smith and Williamson are of the same class as Kohli and Babar.
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