'The only 2 players whose styles are being copied': Zaheer Abbas picks Virat Kohli, Babar Azam as his favourite batsmen
Zaheer Abbas, the former Pakistan captain, has shown praise on India skipper Virat Kohli and current captain of the Pakistan cricket team, Babar Azam, calling them the two most premier modern-day batsmen in world cricket. In an interview with Cricket Pakistan, Abbas, who became the first batsmen in history to score three consecutive ODI centuries in 1982/83, was asked about his top three batsmen in world cricket, out of which the Pakistan great picked only two.
"Captain of the Indian team, Virat Kohli is up there. There is no doubt that he is one of the best batsmen in the world. Then there's our hero, Babar Azam and may god give him a long career and get more good performances out of him. He's really god. You've asked me a tough question but I believe these are the only two batsmen in the world whose styles are being copied," Abbas said.
And rightly so. Kohli and Babar are considered two of the finest batsmen in world cricket along with Steve Smith, Kane Williamson and Joe Root. Recently, Babar broke Kohli's record to become the fastest batsman to score 2000 runs in T20 cricket, getting to the milestone in 52 innings, while the India captain took 56 innings to get there. This has only added fuel to the comparison between the two modern-day greats.
Abbas added it's good to see young players in the IPL trying to play the kind of shots exemplified by Kohli and Babar and lauded the latter for the handsome contributions he's made towards Pakistan cricket, while wishing him best for the future.
"I have seen a few batsmen doing it. In the IPL, I watched a couple of games, and there were batsmen playing the cut shot through slips and gully. So such shots have become common and so many batsmen are playing them. So I feel we must set our own example. As long as we don't do that, we can't improve standards," Abbas explained.
"Thanks to Babar. He is doing well. All Pakistanis are proud of him and hope he continues to dish out impressive performances and win more matches for the country."