'He is a complete player, and should be there': Ex-India player has his say on Rohit vs Babar debate for spot in 'Fab-4'
While Babar notched up a splendid 196 against Australia, Rohit was tactically astute in his first Test series as all-format India captain.
Babar Azam and Rohit Sharma have had phenomenal spells in international cricket this week. Babar produced his "best Test innings" against Australia at Karachi as he helped Pakistan draw the game from a precarious position. The star batter ended up scoring 196 and forged a marathon 228-run partnership for the third wicket with Abdullah Shafique (96). Mohammad Rizwan then chipped in with an unbeaten ton as Pakistan left Australia stranded three wickets away from victory. (ALSO READ | 'His stats tell what he has done till date': Kohli's childhood coach opens up on calls to include Babar in 'Fab-4')
Rohit, meanwhile, was tactically astute in his first Test series as India skipper. Hosts India first won the opening Test against Sri Lanka in three days and dished out a similar performance in the second, giving new all-format captain Rohit a winning start to his Test leadership. Rohit is currently sixth in the latest ICC rankings while Babar has moved up one position to take the eighth spot in the list.
Both star batters are knocking on the doors of the "Fab-4" list, a panel that initially featured the quartet Virat Kohli, Joe Root, Kane Williamson and Steve Smith. There have been growing calls for the addition of new batters to the list and former India cricketer Reetinder Sodhi was asked about the Rohit vs Babar debate when it comes to expanding the "Fab-4".
"You have put me in a huge dilemma. Since you have asked, Rohit Sharma for me because his impact is fantastic. He is an ultimate match-winner. Babar Azam is also very close," Sodhi said in a discussion on India News.
Sodhi, who represented India between 2000 and 2002, eventually picked Rohit, the highest-ranked Indian Test batter, and underlined his captaincy prowess.
"If given an option, I will go for Rohit. The way he has captained and the way the Indian team is getting prepared for the upcoming ICC events, I think he is a complete player, and he should be there," he elaborated.
Former national selector Saba Karim, on the other hand, went with Babar as the fifth batter if "Fab-4" needs to have five cricketers.
"If we have to add one more player for Test matches to make it Fab five, it is Babar Azam because he has given excellent performances in Test matches for the last few years in red-ball cricket. So I feel if you have to add one player, then Babar Azam's name should come there," said Karim.
Rohit will be seen leading Mumbai Indians in the upcoming Indian Premier League (IPL) edition. He joined the team bubble along with pacer Jasprit Bumrah on Monday night. Babar will be captaining Pakistan in the third and final Test against Australia in Lahore, beginning Monday.