Babar Azam or Virat Kohli? Which one is the better batter?

Both Virat Kohli and Babar Azam are outstanding batters for their respective countries.  Kohli and Babar both bat at no. 3 for their respective countries in limited overs format and at no. 4 in test cricket. In this piece, we will analyze the stats of Virat Kohli and Babar Azam in World Cricket forms.

Virat Kohli’s three-and-a-half-year reign as the top-ranked One-Day International (ODI) batsman finally ended. After a stunning batting performance in South Africa, Babar Azam knocked him off the top position.

How did Babar Azam Got Top position in ODI Batsman?

How did Babar Azam Achieve Top position in ODI Batsman?

Babar guided Pakistan to a 2-1 victory in an ODI tournament in South Africa in 2021, hitting 228 runs at 76 balls. However, last year, Virat Kohli captained India to a 2-1 win over England, making 129 runs at 43 balls. A gap in the Indian captain’s performance has aided Babar’s ascension up a mountain climb.

Babar has now joined an elite group of Pakistani batsmen who have topped the ODI rankings, including Zaheer Abbas (1983), great batsman Javed Miandad (1988), and Mohammad Yousuf  (2003).

The success means a great deal to Pakistan cricketers, which has struggled in the past few decades to re-invent itself in the shade of their famed neighbors and arch-nemesis India.

Against all odds, Babar’s artful batsmanship has written a new chapter in cricket history. He is an inspiration to many hitters throughout the world, and his success has prompted comparisons to his Indian rival, Virat Kohli, a player who has continued to break bounds in this sport.

The comparison is founded on their established standards to ensure consistency through their traditional batting techniques. It’s not simply the number of runs they score; it’s also their appealing styles that make people take notice.

Virat Kohli and Babar Azam overall Batting records

  1. Virat Kohli: 33 years 95 days Old

Match Format Matches Played Runs

Scored

Average Highest Scored Strike rate 100s 50s
Test Matches 99 7962 50.39 254* 55.67 27 28
ODIs 258 12,293 58.53 183 93.00 43 64
T20I 95 3227 52.04 94* 137.90 0 29

 

  1. Babar Azam

Match Format Matches Played Runs

Scored

Average Highest Scored Strike rate 100s 50s
Test Matches 37 2461 43.17 143 54.93 5 19
ODIs 83 3985 56.92 158 89.57 14 17
T20I 73 2620 45.17 122 129.12 1 25

 

Looking at the overall figures, it’s clear that the far more seasoned Kohli has established standards of batsmanship, which Babar is attempting to achieve. While Kohli is already a legend in the game, Babar is establishing his name.

What Do their recent scores suggest?

Virat Kohli

Virat Kohli:

Match Format Matches Played Runs

Scored

Average Highest Scored Strike rate 100s 50s
Test Matches 15 900 42.85 254* 55.55 2 5
ODIs 38 1937 55.34 123 94.7 5 14
T20I 25 992 62 94* 145.9 0 9

 

Babar Azam:

Match Format Matches Played Runs

Scored

Average Highest Scored Strike rate 100s 50s
Test Matches 12 1076 59.77 143 66.1 4 6
ODIs 26 1541 67 125 95.2 5 8
T20I 25 909 43.28 122 140.9 1 9

We can see why Babar is causing a stir for all the correct reasons

Just Kane Williamson (73.52), Marnus Labuschagne (66.81), Rohit Sharma (64.37), and Steve Smith (63.85) have scored more than Babar in Test cricket throughout this time (starting in 2019). In one-day internationals, Babar is unrivaled.

In last 2 years Babar Azam is way ahead of Virat Kohli and is probably the best batter in World Cricket.

How successful was Virat Kohli after the same number of games as Babar Azam?

Babar Azam:

Match Format Matches Played Runs

Scored

Average Highest Scored Strike rate 100s 50s
Test Matches 31 2167 44.22 143 56.5 5 16
ODIs 80 3808 56.83 125* 88.7 13 17
T20I 51 1940 48.50 122 131.6 1 17

 

Virat Kohli after the same number of Games played as Babar Azam

Match Format Matches Played Runs

Scored

Average Highest Scored Strike rate 100s 50s
Test Matches 31 2131 41.78 141 52 8 9
ODIs 80 3079 45.95 118 83.3 8 20
T20I 51 1852 54.47 90* 136.4 0 17

 

It’s difficult to choose one above the other because the aforementioned matches in Kohli’s rankings across formats occurred at separate points in his game.

Though Babar has a higher Test record at this point, he has only one century outside of the Deccan. In comparison, Kohli had already crushed rivals in Australia, South Africa, and New Zealand. 5 of Kohli’s eight centuries had come from overseas.

In one-day internationals, Babar is the leader, although Kohli played his 80th match as a 23-year-old. Though his figures show a high level of consistency, he had yet to reach his peak and become the batting monster that he later became.

As a result, comparing similar ages will provide us with a more complete picture.

When Babar was 26 years and 6 months old

Match Format Matches Played Runs

Scored

Average Highest Scored Strike rate 100s 50s
Test Matches 31 2167 44.22 143 56.5 5 16
ODIs 80 3808 56.83 125* 88.7 13 17
T20I 51 1940 48.50 122 131.6 1 17

 

When Virat Kohli was 26 years and 6 months old

Match Format Matches Played Runs

Scored

Average Highest Scored Strike rate 100s 50s
Test Matches 33 2547 46.3 169 53.1 10 10
ODIs 158 6537 51.47 183 89.7 22 33
T20I 28 972 46.28 78* 131.7 0 9

 

In T20Is, the figures are comparable. Kohli had already won the World Cup Player of the Series award. India’s failure to play many T20Is did not help his argument. Kohli had previously captained the Royal Challengers Bangalore (RCB) for four IPL seasons.

In terms of Tests, Kohli unquestionably has the upper hand. Kohli also has an advantage in the 50-to-100 conversion efficiency.

Conclusion:

Though Virat Kohli is trailing Babar Azam in some elements of T20I cricket, he is far ahead of him in others. In terms of statistics, Virat Kohli is a better batsman than his Pakistani opponent but Babar have also played lesser matches and is also younger than him.

Read More: Top 7 Players Expected to Perform in India Vs West Indies T20I Series

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