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Babar Azam very close to being in same league as Virat Kohli, says Misbah-ul-Haq

Speed News Desk | Updated on: 25 May 2020, 18:03 IST

All the sporting events across the world have been stopped due to the coronavirus. However, that has not been able to keep Indian skipper Virat Kolhi, Australia’s Steve Smith and Pakistan’s Babar Azam away from news.

The discussion about these cricketers has more or less featured in all social media interviews of current and former cricketers across the world. Pakistan head-coach Misbah-ul-Haq was the latest to comment on these cricketers.

Saying that he does not like to compare different players, the former Pakistan skipper atated that, Babar Azam is very close to being in the same league as Virat Kohli and Steve Smith.

“I don’t like comparisons but Babar is currently very close to being in the same class as Virat Kohli, Steve Smith or Joe Root,” Misbah said in an interview to Youtube channel, Cricket Baaz.

Babar Azam, who is the number 1 ranked T20 batsman in the world believes in hard work and compete with the best in the game, said Misbah.

“He believes in the work ethic that if you want to better Kohli you have to work harder than him at your skills, fitness and game awareness.”

Babar Azam, who was named the captain of the Pakistan T20 side ahead of the series against Australia in October in 2019, was recently named the captain of the ODI side also.

“Making him the T20 captain was a tester. We wanted to see how he will respond to this challenge. All of us agree that he has done a very good job and his biggest plus is that being among the worlds top players he leads by example,” Misbah said.

“If you are a performer like Babar then it becomes easier for you to motivate the rest of the team and get things done.

“Even when I was made captain in 2010 my performances were here and there and I was in and out. But captaincy changed my game and mindset and I became a more hard working and motivated cricketer.”

The Pakistani head-coach stated that Azam also challenges himself and would flourish as a captain with time.

“He is in a zone of his own. He just doesn’t want to be in the team. He just doesn’t want to play for money. He wants to be the top performer for Pakistan. He is always pitting himself against other top batsmen like Kohli or Smith,” he said.

Interestingly, Babar had earlier played down the comparisons with the Indian skipper, “I think it’s better if you are not comparing. I have said that he is a different kind of a player, and I am a different player,” Babar Azam said.

Misbah-ul-Haq stated that the 25-year-old will become a better captain with experience.

“He loves challenges in the nets and on the field. He has really matured as a player and in time he will get better as a captain with experience.”

Pakistan head-coach also feels that Babar had changed as a batsman when he got runs in the Tests in Australia.

“Before that he was getting runs in tests but not consistently. In Australia and in the following tests against Sri Lanka and Bangladesh he changed,” he said.

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First published: 25 May 2020, 18:03 IST