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Comparisons With Virat Kohli “Flattering”: Azam

Cricketnext Staff | Updated: February 23, 2019, 9:07 AM IST
Comparisons With Virat Kohli “Flattering”: Azam

Source: AP Photo

Comparisons with Virat Kohli has left Pakistan batsman Babar Azam "flattered" as he attempts to emulate the Indian captain and become a match-winner.

The 24-year-old has turned heads since he made his international debut in 2015. Having featured in just over a hundred matches, Azam is currently the No.1 ranked T20I batsman in the world.

Along with the T20Is, the top-order batsman also averages over 50 in One-Day Internationals. He has though not been able to carry the same form into the Test format and averages 35.28 after 21 matches.

"It’s flattering to be compared to Kohli," Azam said. "He is very consistent, and his mindset is very good. He gives 100 percent every time he walks out to bat. I am at the start of my career, so the aim is to be like him, and be the epitome of performance in each of Pakistan's wins."

Since the start of 2018, Azam’s Test form has improved, being the highest run-getter for Pakistan with 760 runs at an average of 50.66. But Azam isn’t content with these numbers.

"I keep learning from my mistakes and I take advice from my seniors Azhar Ali and Asad Shafiq, because I want to be better and better in Test cricket," he said. "[Test cricket] is the test of skill, patience and fitness of a player. The aim is to be the best for Pakistan across all formats."

Pakistan head coach Mickey Arthur has backed the right-hand batsman to achieve great things in his career. Despite recent performances, the South African born asserted that the world is yet to see the best of him.

"He will be in the top five (batsmen) of the world very soon across all formats," Arthur said. "I thought I was a bit quick off the gun when I said two years ago that he would be almost as good as Kohli, but it has taken him a while to show that class.

"But if you watched him in the nets couple of years ago, he was a young boy who has developed into a young man, he’s got stronger and fitter, and his game gets better and better all the time."
First Published: February 23, 2019, 8:01 AM IST

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