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Virat Kohli vs Babar Azam: Revealing Numbers That Put Pakistan Batting Star Ahead

Virat Kohli vs Babar Azam: Revealing Numbers That Put Pakistan Batting Star Ahead

It's the debate that has engulfed cricketing world for some time now: Who is the better batsman - Virat Kohli or Babar Azam?

Babar Azam dethroned Virat Kohli from the top of the ICC ODI ranking becoming the No.1 ranked player in the world, thus becoming only the third Pakistan batter to reach the summit in One-day Internationals. Ever since Azam made his mark at the international level, the prodigiously talented Pakistan top-order batter has been compared with Kohli which has at times put the fans of both the cricket stars at loggerheads on social media with each section trying to prove who is the better.

While Kohli has been already earmarked as a modern-day great and will go down in history as one of the most prolific batters the game has ever seen, Azam, who started his career just six years ago has been making the right noises.

However, a direct comparison with Kohli will still be unfair on the Lahore-born.

Kohli, 32, reigned supreme at the top of the ODI rankings for a whopping 1278 days and has so far played 254 ODI scoring 12169 runs at 59.07 and a strike-rate of 93.17. He has 43 centuries, only behind Sachin Tendulkar’s tally for most tons in the format and had 62 half-centuries to his name.

On the other hand, Azam, 26, has played in 80 ODIs, batting in 78 of them and scoring 3808 runs at 56.83 and a healthy strike rate of 88.7. He has 13 centuries to his name and 17 half-centuries. So, clearly, Azam has a long way to go in terms of matching Kohli’s consistency. However, he has been hitting the right notes and is actually ahead of Kohli when compared purely in terms of numbers at the same stage.

Kohli, after his 78th innings, was ranked third best batsmen in ICC ODI rankings and had scored 3100 runs, averaged 45.58, boasted of a strike-rate of 83.26 with eight centuries, 20 half-centuries. His personal best then was 118.

However, Azam slightly better stats when compared with Kohli for the same number of innings. The Pakistan captain has 3808 runs, averages 56.83, scores at a strike-rate of 88.70 and hit 13 centuries along with 17 fifties and a personal best of 125 not out.

Clearly, on statistics alone at this stage of his career, Azam appears ahead of Kohli. However, he still has a long way to go in his career and if he could continue to perform consistently, surely, sky will be the limit.

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Team Rankings

1 New Zealand 3198 118
2 Australia 3028 116
3 India 3085 114
4 England 4326 106
5 South Africa 2499 96
FULL Ranking
1 England 5405 123
2 India 6102 117
3 New Zealand 3716 116
4 Australia 4344 111
5 South Africa 3345 108
FULL Ranking
1 England 6877 275
2 Australia 6800 272
3 India 10186 268
4 Pakistan 7516 259
5 South Africa 5047 252
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