Pakistan’s head coach Misbah-ul-Haq has claimed that Babar Azam has shown his batting prowess in the recent past to close in on the same class as the best of world batsmen Virat Kohli, Steve Smith and Joe Root. Misbah added that the Pakistan Cricket Board made Babar Azam the T20 captain to test how he responded to this challenge. Misbah-ul-Haq believes that Babar Azam came out of the challenge with flying colours, adding that he knows the areas of improvement to better India captain Virat Kohli.
“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 on a YouTube show ‘Cricket Baaz’.
“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,” he added.
Kohli and Azam are the only two players to boast of an average of above 50 among players that have played over 30 T20Is, which often leads to comparisons between the two players.
“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 world’s 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,” he added.
According to Misbah, Babar does not want to play for money but always wants to do better than Kohli and Smith.
“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.