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If Babar Azam Was Virat Kohli, Everyone Would Be Talking About Him - Nasser Hussain

If Babar Azam Was Virat Kohli, Everyone Would Be Talking About Him - Nasser Hussain

Former England captain Nasser Hussain lavished praise on Pakistan batsman Babar Azam, saying he was in the league of best batsmen in world cricket.

Former England captain Nasser Hussain lavished praise on Pakistan batsman Babar Azam, saying he was in the league of best batsmen in world cricket.

Babar, who has 1850 runs from 26 Tests at 45.12 apart from 3359 runs from 74 ODIs, has improved his game drastically in the last two seasons, where he averages more than any other batsman in Test cricket. Hussain said Babar was ‘world class’ and explaiend it’s not just his stats that are impressive.

“Pakistan have a world class batsman in Babar Azam," Hussain told Sky Sports. “It’s not only his stats but the way he gets them, how elegant a player he is.

“He plays through that offside beautifully, a lovely driver of the ball, good off the front foot and the back foot. He’s a very, very watchable young man, he really is. Outstanding player.

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“I think for Pakistan to win this series, Babar Azam needs to have a good series. If he has a good series, it will be very, very watchable. He is a gun player."

Hussain said it’s a shame that Babar does not get the attention that the Fab Four - Virat Kohli, Steve Smith, Kane Williamson and Joe Root - get.

“I think it is a real shame and it is in part a consequence of Pakistan playing away from home, playing in the UAE all the time in front of no one, Pakistan hiding in the shadow of Indian cricket, not going over and playing IPL cricket, not playing India," he said.

“If this lad was Virat Kohli, everyone would be talking about it but because it is Babar Azam, no one is talking about it. He averages 68 since 2018 and 55 in white-ball cricket. He’s young, he’s elegant, he’s got all the swagger.

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“They keep going on about the fab four, it’s the fab five and Babar Azam is in that."

Babar showed his class on Day 1 of the first Test against England in Manchester too, remaining unbeaten on 69 to take Pakistan to 139 for 2 at stumps.

“I’ve been trying to figure out why he has got better recently in Test cricket," Hussain explained. “I think he is playing pace a lot better and he is playing the ball later.

“High class. People get runs but also you’ve got to remember that you’re trying to entertain people and when this lad bats and gets hundreds like he has been, he is so, so watchable.

“He’s such a good player, he’s in good nick. He did it in white-ball cricket at the start of his career but couldn’t quite sort out Test cricket but we showed the stats earlier and since 2018 he’s been the best Test match player. I think he’s only failed once in that period, one single-figure score."

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first published:August 06, 2020, 08:45 IST