ISLAMABAD, Feb 21 (APP):Batsman Babar Azam aims to perform at his best in all formats for Pakistan saying he keeps the advice of his coach to his mind which was to play the first and the last ball of a match.
Babar, who is representing Karachi Kings in the ongoing Pakistan Super League (PSL), said his club coach Mama Juna in Lahore gave this advice to him when he was only 15-years-old.
Since cracking three consecutive centuries against the West Indies in 2016, Babar has risen to world number-one in the ICC’s Twenty20 rankings, 18th in Tests and 5th in ODIs.
On compared with Indian batsman Virat Kholi, Babar said Kohli is very consistent and gives his 100 percent every time he comes out to bat.
“I am at the start of my career, so my aim is to be like him and be the epitome of performance in each of Pakistan’s wins,” he said.
For a fact, Babar has scored 1,000 and 2,000 ODI runs faster than Kohli. He completed 1,000 in 21 innings and 2,000 in 45, as compared to Kohli’s 24 and 53 innings, respectively. Babar also surpassed Kohli’s record of fastest to 1,000 T20 runs in 26 innings as compared to Kohli’s 27.
Babar’s first 25 ODIs had five centuries to Kohli’s just two. But Kohli has since achieved astronomical height and now has 39 ODI hundreds.
Babar recalled he was attracted to cricket at a very young age. “My father’s elder brother and another uncle saw the passion in me and pushed me for the game,” he said.
Babar topped the batting averages in all Under-15 cricket in Pakistan which paved his way to the national U-19 team.
Pakistan’s head coach Mickey Arthur said Babar will be in the top five batsmen of the world very soon across all formats.
“Two years ago, I said Babar would be almost as good as Kohli, but it has taken him a while to show that class.”
“Babar has developed into a young man, he has got stronger and fitter and his game gets better and better all the time,” he said.
Babar said he keeps learning from his mistakes and takes advice from seniors Azhar Ali and Asad Shafiq.