For anyone who follows cricket, the clash between India and Pakistan is invariably a must-watch event. Yet, within that broader rivalry, the individual competition between Virat Kohli and Babar Azam is particularly noteworthy. As these two teams gear up for another encounter in the Asia Cup’s Super 4 stage, the focus will once again be on these two top-class batters. Let’s take a closer look at how Kohli and Azam square off against each other, how they perform against each other’s teams, and other notable player confrontations.
Virat Kohli and Babar Azam: The Ongoing Rivalry
Babar Azam came onto the international scene in 2015, a time when Virat Kohli was already well-established. While Kohli had the upper hand in terms of ODI performance between 2016 and 2019, Babar has managed to close that gap from 2020 onwards. It’s worth noting that in World Cup years 2015, 2019, and projected for 2023 their batting averages are remarkably similar, highlighting their consistent performances on the biggest stage.
Vivat v Babar | Since Babar`s odi debut
Performance Since Babar’s Debut: Kohli has 13 more ODI innings than Babar since the latter’s debut, but still maintains a slight edge in both batting average and strike rate.
Kohli’s Track Record Against Pakistan
Although Kohli had a subdued outing in the last game versus Pakistan, his overall numbers against them are strong. He’s responsible for a significant portion of runs scored by India against Pakistan since 2015.
Babar’s Challenges When Facing India
Babar, despite being a reliable performer for Pakistan, has found it tough against India, with his highest score in ODIs against them being just 48.
Other Key Match-Ups: Indian Openers and Pakistani Pacers
Moving away from Kohli and Babar, the Indian opening duo of Rohit Sharma and Shubman Gill has been in excellent form. They’ve shown considerable promise this year, setting new records for opening partnerships in 2023.
On the Pakistani side, fast bowlers Haris Rauf, Naseem Shah, and Shaheen Afridi have been standout performers in the current Asia Cup, particularly against right-handed batters.
Upcoming Matches: What to Expect?
The previous India-Pakistan game was marred by rain, affecting both teams’ performance. With another match on the horizon, the spotlight will naturally be on Kohli and Babar. Nevertheless, it’s not just about Kohli and Azam, other significant contributors like India’s opening batsmen and Pakistan’s fast bowlers are also expected to bring their own dynamic to this much-anticipated match-up.
The competition between Kohli and Babar isn’t merely a duel between two skilled players; it also showcases different philosophies and strategies within the sport. As the Asia Cup progresses and we inch closer to the World Cup, this particular clash will likely move further into the spotlight. Whether you’re rooting for one team or simply a fan of good cricket, the upcoming matches are not to be missed.