In the world of sports, comparisons between players are quite common, and the answer to who actually qualifies as the greatest leads to countless debates and discussions. Be it Lara vs Sachin in the 2000s or Kohli vs Babar at present. Before the pandemic, King Kohli was clearly ahead of his contemporaries across all formats, but his sudden dip in form raised many eyebrows in the recent past. Once seen as the most promising prodigy of Pakistan cricket Babar Azam has now made his own name in the books of cricket and is often touted by many as the successor of Kohli for the crown of Asia’s best batsman. With fans across borderlines divided in opinions of who is the best, let’s take a look and analyse the careers of these bona fide matchwinners ahead of the high-voltage Indo-Pak showdown in the Asia Cup on August 28.
Kohli Vs Babar in Tests
It’s quite unfortunate that the longest format of the game has never witnessed the on-field conflict between Kohli and Babar. The former India skipper has represented India in 102 Tests and at an incredible average of 49.53 has amassed 8079 runs. Since his debut in 2016, Babar Azam has played 42 matches in which he has aggregated 3122 runs at an average of 47.30. A true veteran in whites, Virat’s numbers clearly have earned him a place amongst the best.
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His sheer calibre to soak pressure and score runs under any situation and across any condition is the reason he stands so tall amongst others. Babar on the other hand is en route as well to prove his potential in the toughest format of the game and is definitely Pakistan’s X-factor in the batting line-up. In the ICC Test rankings, Babar Azam is ranked 4th and Kohli is ranked 13th on the list.
Kohli Vs Babar in ODIs
Both Kohli and Babar have been a nemesis for the opposition in fifty-over games. Kohli mastered the art of chasing targets to be the chase master and made smashing match-winning knocks a habit. While in Babar, Pakistan finally found a solution to their batting woes in the middle order. Both these batting geniuses excelled in building crucial partnerships in the middle orders to keep the ship steady.
In 262 ODIs, King Kohli’s career tally stands at 12,344 runs at an average of 57.68 and a strike rate close to 100. In 92 games, Babar has amassed 4664 runs at an average close to 60. Currently, Babar Azam is numero uno in the ICC ODI rankings while Kohli is placed at the 5th position.
Kohli Vs Babar in T20Is
Kohli who is all set to play his 100th T20I in the Asia Cup opener against Pakistan will look to redeem himself as the quintessential matchwinner in the shortest format of the game. He averages over 50 and has so far scored 3,308 runs at a brisk strike rate of 137.66. Babar’s numbers in T20Is are quite staggering- 2,686 runs in 69 games at a strike rate close to 130. The Pakistan skipper is at the top of the ICC T20I rankings too while Kohli is behind him at the 32nd position.
The fight for glory
As the Asian nations gear up to wrestle for the seat of glory in cricket, all eyes will be on the much-awaited contest between arch-rivals India and Pakistan. After the embarrassing defeat in the WT20, Rohit Sharma and his troops will eye for revenge when locking horns with the Men In Green. And amidst all the tension, the focus will be on Kohli’s form when he finally will steps onto the field after a brief break. will the wait for a turnaround be over, is a question across the minds of all, but in the battle of the bests, a cracker of a game is definitely certain. The debate of whether Kohli still remains ahead of Babar or the latter has finally matched the Indian veteran will only continue and such rivalries will only add more excitement to the heat of the atmosphere.