Babar Azam is right up there alongside the likes of Virat Kohli, Steve Smith, Kane Willaimson, and Joe Root when it comes to the modern-day great batsmen, feels Indian middle-order batsman Karun Nair.
Babar Azam has established himself as one of the leading batsmen of the current era. After having an indifferent start to his Test career, Azam has come up by leaps and bounds in the past two years in the longest format of the game. Since the start of 2018, Azam is averaging over 65 in Test match cricket. He dominated the legendary Dale Steyn in South Africa before scoring a 100 and a 97 against the troika of Mitchell Starc, Pat Cummins and Josh Hazlewood in Australia. Azam is currently in England where he has already displayed signs of his incredible talent courtesy a sumptuous 69 in the first innings of the 1st Test at Old Trafford.
Such has been the consistency of Azam in all the three formats of the game that there is a raging debate in world cricket right now on whether the ‘Fab-Four’ has now become ‘Fab-Five’. Karun Nair, India’s only triple-centurion in Tests after Virender Sehwag, certainly thinks do. The Karnataka middle-order batsman recently gave an interview where he asked, who he thinks is the best Test batsman of the modern era.
“Steve Smith…Babar Azam is also right up there along with these modern-day greats — Virat Kohli, Smith, Kane Williamson and Joe Root,” Karun Nair said.
Is Babar Azam in the same league as the ‘Fab-4’ in Test cricket?
Babar Azam is the only batsman apart from Indian superstar Virat Kohli to feature in the top-10 rankings across all the three formats of the game, but he still has a long way to go as far as matching the feats of the ‘Fab-4’ in Kohli, Smith, Root, and Williamson in Test match cricket.
Azam has thus far featured in just 27 Tests thus far, racking up 1924 runs at an average of 44.74 with the help of 5 hundred and 14 half-centuries. On the other hand, each of Smith, Kohli, Root, and Williamson has played over 70 Test matches and has racked up more 7000 runs, dominating the game for a decade in almost every condition.
While Steve Smith, who is currently the No.1 ranked Test batsman in the world, has 7227 runs to his name at an average of 62.84 which also includes 26 hundred, Virat Kohli, Joe Root, and Kane Williamson have 7240 [27 centuries and seven 200s], 7785 [17 centuries and three 200s] and 6476 runs [21 hundreds and 2 half-centuries] to their name.