Babar Azam is considered by Pakistan to be their largest international sports star, and Virat Kohli shares this opinion, calling Babar “probably the best batsman in the world.”
When asked about his friendship with the Pakistani skipper in a Star Sports interview from the previous year, Kohli said that they had always gotten along well ever since they first met in Manchester on a rainy day in 2019.
“My first encounter with Babar was following the match in Manchester during the 2019 [ODI] World Cup. Imad [Wasim], who I’ve known since the Under-19 World Cup, informed me that Babar wanted to talk. We took a seat and discussed the match. He has always treated me with a lot of respect and regard, and that hasn’t changed,” Kohli added. “Despite the fact that he is undoubtedly the best batsman in the world across all formats, and for good reason. He always plays with such consistency, and I love watching him play.”
Over the past five years, the rivalry between Kohli and Babar has always been a key component of the cultural intrigue of matches between India and Pakistan, and partisan comparisons in both nations have intensified the flavour. Kohli was the best ODI batter in the world when the two of them first met during that World Cup game in Manchester. He put up a 65-ball 77 on that particular day as India cruised to an 89-run triumph.
Babar has advanced to the pinnacle of the sport over time as he has reached the peak of his career, especially in the ODI format. He surpassed Hashim Amla and Viv Richards earlier this year to become the batsman to achieve 5,000 ODI runs the fastest in history. With 886 points, he presently holds the global record for the best ODI player. With 777, Rassie van der Dussen comes in a distant second. Kohli finishes in the top ten as well, ranking ninth with 705 points.
Babar is the only batter to place in the top five in all three forms, and he is also placed third in T20I cricket and fourth in Test cricket.
On September 2, India and Pakistan square off in Kandy in a match for the Asia Cup’s group stage. Their World Cup match is slated on October 14 in Ahmedabad, and they are expected to play at least once more in the Super 4 stage.