Shahid Afridi reveals what Babar Azam needs to do to match the level of Virat Kohli and Steve Smith
The 25-year-old has so far featured in 27 Tests, 74 ODIs, and 38 T20s with 1924, 3359, and 1471 runs respectively.
Updated - Aug 14, 2020 11:15 am
Babar Azam has been one gem for the Pakistan squad across all formats for years now. He has been quite successful in displaying his class and technique to fetch runs for the team. He can even stand best of the bowling attacks, but former captain Shahid Afridi feels he has a long way to go in order to match the level of Virat Kohli and Steve Smith.
Indian Skipper Virat Kohli and Australian great Steve Smith have been regarded as the finest batsmen of the present times by people around the world. Babar is often being compared with these two legends but doesn’t stand a chance as he still has a lot to improve.
Afridi spoke to BBC Sport and said, Babar needs to start moulding his fine starts into big scores in order to match the standards set by Kohli and Smith. Ahead of the second Test between Pakistan and England, Afridi said, “Babar has right set of skills but needs to polish them further to develop as a great one.”
“He is very talented – the backbone of the team – but needs to score big runs. If Babar wants to become like Root, Kohli, Australia’s Steve Smith or South African AB de Villiers then he needs to convert his fifties into hundreds,” added Afridi.
Babar Azam’s career
The right-handed top-order batsman is an active member of the Pakistan squad which is contesting in a Test series against England currently. He was quite impressive with his bat in the first innings where he scored 69 of 106 balls but couldn’t produce anything substantial in the second innings. Pakistan lost to the host team by three wickets where the game was being dominated by the former until a blockbuster by Woakes and Buttler shifted the momentum entirely.
The 25-year-old has so far featured in 27 Tests, 74 ODIs, and 38 T20s with 1924, 3359, and 1471 runs respectively. The second Test between the two teams is on, at Southampton where winning the toss, Pakistan have decided to bat first. They were 85/2 until rain interrupted the game. The last Test is scheduled for 21st August and the T20 series between the two teams will be played later this month.