INDIA: Babar Azam, the captain of Pakistan, won both the ODI and men’s cricketer of the year awards on Thursday for the second straight year.
The 28-year-old batsman, who has scored 24 half-centuries and hit 17 tonnes in 95 ODI games, guided Pakistan to the finals of the Asia Cup and the T20 World Cup in 2022.
Many admirers and experts frequently draw comparisons between Babar and the famous Indian batter Virat Kohli, who also received the ODI cricketer of the year award in 2017 and 2018.
“Both players are at different stages of their careers, so comparing them doesn’t make sense,” according to former Pakistan captain Misbah-ul-Haq, who entirely dismissed all parallels.
The former Pakistan captain added that a comparison between the two is inappropriate. He also stated that Babar is only starting off, while Kohli has played a lot of cricket.
“You can create a comparison once Babar has played the same number of cricket matches. Nobody currently matches Kohli since he has greater cricket experience,” according to Misbah, who spoke to local media.
“Yes, Babar is a class player, and he may accomplish similar records as Kohli in the future, but at this point, comparing the two doesn’t make any sense because it’s only a start for Babar,” he continued.
Notably, Kohli broke his century drought last year in the Asia Cup against Afghanistan, which was his first century in T20Is, after going more than three years without scoring a century.
Since that time, Kohli hasn’t looked back, slamming three centuries in his last seven ODI appearances. He needs three more ODI tonnes to tie Sachin Tendulkar’s (49) record for the most tonnes in the format, which he currently holds.
Babar had a remarkable year at the plate in 2021, scoring 679 runs from nine ODI matches at an average of 84.87, including three hundred in 2022.
In addition, Babar is the top batter in the ODI rankings, a position he has successfully defended since July 2021. Notably, Pakistan only suffered one ODI loss in 2022 while under his supervision.