If the debate between Virat Kohli and Steve Smith has remained red-hot over the years, the one between Babar Azam and Virat Kohli is trending presently. As far as numbers go, Babar has a lot of catching up to do with Kohli. However, the level of class amongst the two is very much on the higher side. Meanwhile, England spin-bowler Adil Rashid made a slightly strange choice based on current form.
Babar Azam has established himself as the most consistent batsman in Pakistan across formats. He averages almost 50 in all three versions, staying in the top ten among batsmen in Tests, ODIs, and T20Is. The 25-year old took over as the T20 captain last year and most recently was also appointed as the country’s ODI skipper.
Virat Kohli needs little introduction, considering the unparalleled feats he has accumulated over the years. The Indian captain is the only batsman in the current era to comfortably over 50 in all three forms. With 11867 runs in 248 ODIs, he could well end up as the highest run-getter in the format, surpassing Sachin Tendulkar tally of 18426. To go with his ability with the bat, the 31-year old is also a terrific fielder and an astute captain.
When asked Adil Rashid’s opinion on the same, he said he would go ahead with Babar, solely based on current form. Rashid said it’s a tough call but had to choose the Pakistani batsman, considering his criteria. Nevertheless, the 32-year old admitted that both are world-class batters.
“Ahhh… it’s a tough one. Well, it’s a tough one. So you got to go on the current form… I think I got to go for Babar Azam on current form. I am taking form here…I say Babar Azam is in better form so I picked Babar Azam. But they both are world class players anyway.” Rashid said as quoted by India Today.
Virat Kohli wasn’t in the best of his forms in India’s tour of New Zealand before the COVID-19 pandemic. Across 11 innings in all three formats during their visit, the Delhi batsman dragged himself to 218 runs. The 218 is the lowest that he has managed where Kohli played all three forms. In the two-Test series, Virat could score only 38 runs that forced him to drop down to number two in the rankings from the summit.
On the other hand, Babar was in excellent touch in the Pakistan Super League (PSL) that stood suspended because of the virus. Azam scored 345 runs at an average of 49.29.
Virat Kohli and Babar Azam both included in Adil Rashid’s world XI:
During the interaction with At the Crease TV, the leg-spin bowler selected Virat and Babar in his world XI, which would be captained by Eoin Morgan. He chose Rohit Sharma and David Warner to open the innings while Kohli and Azam would come at number three and four respectively. The Yorkshire-born was the part of England’s squad that lifted their first 50-over World Cup in 2019.
Adil Rashid’s world XI: Rohit Sharma, David Warner, Virat Kohli, Babar Azam, Eoin Morgan ©, Jos Buttler (wk), Ben Stokes, Mitchell Starc, Imran Tahir, Trent Boult, Kagiso Rabada.