Former South African captain, Faf du Plessis has lauded Babar Azam after the latter took Karachi Kings (KK) to the final of the ongoing Pakistan Super League with a classy half-century.
Chasing 142 against Multan Sultans, Babar Azam held one end of the innings and scored a breezy 65 from 53 balls. The match was tied and went into super over, where Mohammad Amir defended 14 runs showcasing a masterpiece of fast bowling with a flurry of yorkers.
I think he surprised a lot of people with his T20 cricket: Faf du Plessis
Talking to Saleem Khaliq on a chatshow for the website Cricket Pakistan, Faf du Plessis said that there are similarities between Indian captain, Virat Kohli, and the Pakistani skipper. Du Plessis praised Babar saying that in recent years, the right-hander has grown leaps and bounds as a batsman, particularly in T20 cricket.
The South-African feels that Babar has surprised people with his T20 numbers as he could have been stereotyped as a long format batsman, and not one who can hit the ball. However, Azam with an average of over 50 in international T20s, and 4 T20 hundreds has proved them wrong and is the second-ranked ICC T20I batsman.
Speaking to Cricket Pakistan, Faf du Plessis said, “I do [see the similarity between Kohli and Babar]. They are extremely high-quality players. Babar, over the last year or so, has taken another step towards becoming one of the greats of the game so he has got an exciting future.
“I think he surprised a lot of people with his T20 cricket. People would have originally boxed him as a guy that hasn’t got a lot of power but certainly, of late his T20 game has been remarkable.”
The 36-year-old remembered his tour to Pakistan leading the World XI in 2017. The Protea batsman was in awe seeing the fans and their passion for the game and loved every bit of the tour.
“The last time I was here was for the World XI game which was really great to be a part of. The biggest thing for me was seeing the fans and how much it meant to them that cricket was being played in Pakistan again. It was a great part of my journey as a cricketer,” he added.
Faf du Plessis played for Peshawar Zalmi, which lost the Eliminator 1 to Lahore Qalandars. Lahore will face Multan on Sunday, and the winner will meet Karachi in the final on Tuesday.