'It's like comparing Wasim Akram with Shaheen Afridi': Ex-Pakistan captain's blunt remark on Kohli-Babar comparisons
The former Pakistan captain made a blunt remark when asked on the comparisons between Babar Azam and Virat Kohli.
Pakistan captain Babar Azam won twin-ICC awards earlier this week, as he was named the Men's Player of the Year as well as the ODI Player of the Year for 2022. Babar had produced a remarkable outing last year, having scored over 2,600 runs across all formats in international cricket; to put it in perspective, no other batter could cross 2,000. Babar also led Pakistan to twin finals in the Asia Cup and T20 World Cup, and scored 8 fifty-plus scores in nine ODIs.
Babar repeated India star Virat Kohli's feat from 2017-18, when the latter also swept the ODI Player of the Year award in succession. Over the past few years, Babar has been compared with Kohli on numerous occasions and the recent feat from the Pakistan skipper has given a significant rise to the comparisons yet again.
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However, former Pakistan captain Salman Butt believes that it won't be right to compare the two at the moment, insisting that Kohli is at a different stage of his career.
“Both are world class cricketers and top-notch performers. But there's no comparison with Virat Kohli at this point of his career. Kohli has scored 74 international tons and he didn't score a hundred in three years. Now you can imagine the magnitude of his performances,” Butt told paktv.tv in a chat.
“There's a phase in cricketer's life when they perform brilliantly, but then start to struggle. Babar is performing exceptionally right now and we hope he only improves from here. We want him to be a great. Most role models in Pakistan have played exciting cricket, not consistent cricket. After a long time, we have got a player like Babar who tops the charts and we need to enjoy him, cherish him. We don't want to send him to panic mode,” said Butt further.
The former Pakistan skipper signed off by providing a reference when the interviewer reiterates the question about comparisons.
“There's no comparison. It's like comparing Wasim Akram and Shaheen Afridi. It's not right,” Butt stated.