Former Indian cricketer Imran Khan praises Babar Azam and firmly believes that Babar has the potential to surpass Virat Kohli’s records in cricket.
Imran Khan Praises Babar Azam
Recently, Babar Azam (5000-run mark in 97 innings/ 100 ODIs) surpassed South Africa’s Hashim Amla (5000-run mark in 101 innings) to become the fastest batter to score 5000 runs after 100 ODIs.
On May 7 2023, Pakistan’s captain Babar Azam played his 100th ODI match against New Zealand(the last ODI match of the New Zealand tour of Pakistan 2023). Notably, in the previous game, he scored 107 runs and registered his 18th ODI hundred.
India’s Virat Kohli (4107 runs from 100 ODIs) is nowhere near Babar in this list. He is at number 9, just behind legendary cricketer Vivian Richards (4146 runs after 100 ODIs).
While talking to a local sports journalist, Khan claimed that although he hasn’t seen a lot of cricket lately, he is certain, from what he has observed, that Babar can effortlessly take over Virat Kohli’s records.
“I haven’t recently seen cricket, but I believe that Virat Kohli and Babar Azam belong to the same class. Babar Azam can easily surpass Virat Kohli; he is that good, from what I have seen,” Khan said.
Khan also stated that he recommended Babar as a captain of the national team to then chairman of the Pakistan Cricket Board, Ehsan Mani.
Imran Khan’s claim that Babar Azam can surpass Virat Kohli is huge but not without substance. Babar’s exceptional batting capacity, maturity, and work ethic collectively contribute to his potential to outshine the records set by Kohli.
However, when looking at overall stats in the ODI format, there’s no one anywhere near former India captain Virat Kohli, among active players.
With an average of 57, a strike rate of 93, and close to 13000 runs, including 46 centuries and 65 fifties, Kohli is a modern great in the format.
But when we consider, both players’ stats after 100 ODIs, Babar Azam stands tall on comparing Virat Kohli.
|Stats||Virat Kohli||Babar Azam|
|1st ODI||Aug 18, 2008||May 31, 2015|
|100th ODI||June 11, 2013||May 7, 2023|
Most runs scored after 100 ODI
- Babar Azam (5089 runs)
- Hashim Amla (4808 runs)
- Shikhar Dhawan (4309 runs)
- David Warner (4217 runs)
- Shai Hope (4193 runs)
- Gordon Greenidge (4177 runs)
- Joe Root (4164 runs)
- Vivian Richards (4146 runs)
- Virat Kohli (4107 runs)