The spotlight is on Babar Azam as Pakistan are aiming for a place in the final of the Asia Cup 2023 on Thursday. The two-time champions squared off against 2022 winners Sri Lanka in the virtual semi-final of the Asia Cup 2023 at the R.Premadasa Stadium. The winner of the Super 4 clash between Sri Lanka and Pakistan will meet Virat Kohli-starrer Team India in the final of the continental tournament.
Pakistan skipper Babar, who kickstarted the Asia Cup with a brilliant century, has struggled to extend his free-scoring run in the business end of the elite tournament. While Babar had a forgetful outing against India in the blockbuster Super 4 meeting between the traditional rivals, run-machine Kohli slammed a scintillating century to fashion India’s massive win over the Green Army in the rain-marred encounter.
With the Pakistan skipper climbing up the ranks in international cricket, the cricket fraternity has remained divided on the ‘Kohli versus Babar’ debate. Weighing in on the best batter debate, legendary Australian cricketer Matthew Hayden claimed that Babar has an edge over Kohli when it comes to playing the One Day International (ODI) format.
‘Babar Azam is actually leading shoot-out match’
Talking about Babar on Star Sports show Game Plan, Hayden said that the ‘champion’ cricketer is leading the ‘shoot-out match’ against Kohli. “Babar Azam is a champion. He comes back from these things time and time again because that’s what champions do. 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,” Hayden said.
Babar or Kohli, who is topping batting charts at Asia Cup?
“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,” he added. Averaging 64.50 in 4 games, Kohli has smashed 129 runs for India. Pakistan skipper Babar has amassed 178 runs for the former world champions in 4 games. India skipper Rohit Sharma (194) is the leading run-getter in the ongoing edition of the showpiece event.