Nasser Hussain gives his verdict on Virat Kohli vs Babar Azam comparison

The Virat Kohli vs Babar Azam debate refuses to die. The Pakistan captain has risen to unprecedented heights in all formats to enter the ‘Fab-Five’ bracket which not too long ago was the “Big Four,” comprising Kohli, Steve Smith, Joe Root and Kane Williamson. Many former cricketers have weighed in on the Kohli vs Azam debate such as Inzamam Ul Haq, Younis Khan and Wasim Akram to name a few, and the latest to add to the topic is former England captain Nasser Hussain.

Azam has a fine record in all three formats, averaging over 55 in ODIs, almost 50 in T20Is and 45.55 in Tests. Hussain acknowledged Babar as a formidable limited-overs but believes the Pakistan captain has to do a bit more to do in Test matches in order to be fairly compared to his Indian counterpart.

“Babar has what it takes to become one of the greats. In white-ball cricket he’s up there with the best of them. He’s up near the top of the rankings in T20Is, and in fifty over cricket he is exceptional too. He did OK in the Test series against England bearing in mind England is not an easy place to come and play Test cricket,” Hussain told

“He just needs that consistency in Test cricket to be up there with the likes of Virat Kohli. Babar’s done that for 6 to 9 months so far, he just needs to be consistent for a longer period of time.”

The cricket fraternity stands divided when it comes to the Kohli vs Azam debate, but many reckon that the comparison doesn’t completely make sense given the fact that the Pakistan captain is six years younger and started his career long after Kohli did. Hussain agrees to it, even highlighting a technical flaw in Azam, which reminds the former England captain of Kohli.

“He [Babar] does have a slight technical problem in the area just outside off stump, a little bit like Kohli had when he first came to England and he was found out,” Hussain added.

“Babar’s a wonderful player and batting isn’t just about the amount of runs you get, it’s about the way you get them and when Babar’s batting well he’s so pleasing on the eye. He’s an aesthetically pleasing player. He’s an outstanding player, make no mistake and he’s just got to make sure that if he wants to be a great of the game and he’s pushing that, and for that you have to be consistent all over the world and get runs in all conditions.”

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