Babar Azam is now the new number one ranked ODI batsman and overtook Virat Kohli. He had overtook Kohli in the T20I rankings as he was crowned the number one T20I batsman not to long ago. Despite having a batting average of less than 25 in the longest format of the game, he has now improved his Test record and is now Pakistan’s Test captain. Most of the cricket pundits now rate Babar Azam really high. They now believe that the “Fab 4” should now be converted to “Fab 6” due to the rise of Pakistani skipper Babar Azam. Pakistan fans now equate their king with India’s King Kohli. However, is it ok to compare the two stalwarts of Asia? Who is better? Babar Azam or Virat
Kohli? Today we shall be talking about the Virat Kohli and Babat Azam rivalry and who is better between the two.


Well Rankings are not the only criteria to judge a player and many cricket pundits consider ICC’s ranking system flawed. Virat Kohli currently has scored the most number of runs in T20Is while Babar Azam is placed on the top of the ICC T20I Batsmen’s rankings. Kohli’s performances in the last two T20 World Cups helped him to be the No.1 batter in the T20I rankings for quite a long period. But Azam occupied the ranking ever since the start of 2018. Virat skipping T20I series against lower-ranked teams has pushed him down. However, the same can’t be said about ODIs. Although Kohli has been good in ODIs of late he has been far from his best. He hasn’t even been the leading run-getter in any ODI series since 2020. Azam’s rise has been exceptional and he has been in superb ODI form of late. Kohli after playing the same number of ODIs didn’t have a record as good as Babar Azam. However it’s all about consistently and longevity which Kohli has already proved he has. We would have to see if Babar Azam can continue his superb form for the next 5 to 6 years.


Now coming to the longest and the most difficult version of the game, Kohli is a better Test batsman than Babar Azam and has proven himself in almost all parts of the world. While Babar has been good in every place he has played so far he hasn’t been as impactful as Kohli. India’s skipper Kohli has an average of over 50 whereas Azam dosen’t. It is too early to compare Babar Azam with Virat Kohli in Tests because Babar’s Test career is in initial phase he only played 26 test and has only 1850 in his pocket while Virat Kohli is racing towards 100 tests with 7240 runs in test cricket virat kohli is too much ahead as compare babar azam in test cricket! It would be safe to say that Kohli is clear of Pakistan’s skipper and is a better batsman as of now. Currently other than Steve Smith no other batsman can challenge Kohli. It would be safe to come to a conclusion that Babar Azam can only be compared to Kohli when he plays the same amount of matches as Kohli. However having said that, Babat Azam has had a dream run and is already considered one of the best players despite being a few years younger to the Fab 4 members. One must not be surprised if Azam does manage to overtake Kohli in the near future.

By Arvind Krishnan

Cricket writer, statistician and analyst. An unorthodox media student, marketing runs in his blood. Sports Marketer and analyst.