Babar Azam betters Virat Kohli with his Test average

Babar who just scored his maiden Test ton has been in blazing form this year.

Babar Azam
Babar Azam. (Photo Source: Twitter)
Shubham Ghosh

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After a long wait, Pakistan middle-order batsman Babar Azam finally reaped the benefits of having patience on Sunday when he scored his first century in Tests. He hit 127 not out against New Zealand in Dubai to take Pakistan to a strong position in their quest for levelling the three-Test series. The century was also special for Babar as it helped him eclipse Indian batting great Virat Kohli in an annual record.

The 24-year-old has been in a good nick in Tests though he could not manage a hundred before this. He has scored a number of fifty-plus scores in 10 Test innings this year including one 99 against Australia and he averages nearly 68 now in the longer format this year. And that average now puts him ahead of Kohli, one of the most consistent batsmen in world cricket at the moment.

Babar did not have a great start to his Test career from the beginning. He had only a couple of fifty-plus scores each in the last two years after making his debut in the longer format against the Windies in 2016. The year 2018, however, has been the tallest in his Test career so far.

Azam’s 2018 Test average is better than Kohli

Though Azam averages only 30.44 overall in Tests, his average in the year 2018 has increased to 67.71 as he has scored over 470 runs in 10 innings. The figure is more than Indian captain Kohli’s annual average of 59.05 (he has scored over 1,000 runs in 18 innings). The criterion for this comparison is a minimum run tally of 400.

Pakistan had an ordinary start to their innings after captain Sarfraz Ahmed won the toss and elected to bat. However, Azam added 186 runs for the fifth wicket with another centurion Haris Sohail (147) for the fifth wicket to take Pakistan to a healthy total. They declared their first innings score at 418 for 5 and the Kiwis were 24 for no loss in reply.

Pakistan lost the first Test by 4 runs after facing a batting debacle and will need to win this game to remain alive in the three-match series.

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