In the world of cricket, statistical comparisons are often used to gauge a player’s prowess and influence in the sport. When it comes to one-day international (ODI) cricket, the names that frequently grace these comparisons are Babar Azam and Virat Kohli. These two modern-day batting maestros have enthralled fans with their elegance and consistency at the crease.
As the Asia Cup 2023 unfolds, the cricketing world eagerly anticipates a must-win Super Four clash between Pakistan and Sri Lanka. The clash, scheduled for September 14th at the R Premadasa Stadium in Colombo, holds immense significance for both teams. Babar Azam, Pakistan’s skipper and batting linchpin, is under the spotlight, especially after a brief, lean run with the bat in his last two outings against Bangladesh and India.
Matthew Hayden, the former Australian opener renowned for his aggressive batting, has offered his perspective on the upcoming showdown. During an interaction on the Star Sports show Game Plan, Hayden was asked whether he expects Babar Azam to bounce back after his recent low scores. His response was a resounding vote of confidence in the Pakistani captain.
“Babar Azam is a champion. He comes back from these things time and time again because that’s what champions do,” Hayden declared. Hayden’s words highlight the resilience and character of Babar Azam, traits that define great cricketers.
One aspect that adds intrigue to this clash is the statistical comparison between Babar Azam and Virat Kohli at this stage of their ODI careers. Hayden emphasized, “When you think about the statistical comparison at the same stage, Virat Kohli vs. Babar Azam, Babar Azam is actually leading that shoot-out match.”
While the specific statistics were not provided, the implication is clear – Babar Azam’s numbers in ODI cricket, particularly at this stage of his career, stack up favourably against those of Virat Kohli. This assertion underscores the remarkable consistency and impact that Babar has had in the format.
Hayden also shed light on the significance of Babar Azam in Pakistan’s batting lineup. He explained, “So that’s how significant he is to the Pakistani team lineup, and I am sure that he can do it in this shoot-out against Sri Lanka. Babar is central not only because he is the captain but he is absolutely central in terms of the talent of that batting unit.”
Babar Azam’s career ODI stats are indeed impressive. With 5380 runs at an excellent average of 58.47 in 107 ODIs, he has firmly established himself as one of the world’s premier batsmen. To provide context, Virat Kohli aggregated 4376 runs at an average of 49.16 in the first 107 games of his ODI career.