A Statistical Comparison Between Virat Kohli And Babar Azam: The ‘Fab 4’ group from the modern-day batsmen consists of Virat Kohli, Kane Williamson, Steve Smith, and Joe Root. All the four right-handed batsmen are technically sound, and score runs consistently.
On top of that, they regularly feature in all the three formats for their country. However, a majority of the cricketing community feels that Pakistan’s T20I captain, Babar Azam, also deserves to be in that group.
Many fans have even drawn comparisons between the Indian skipper Kohli and Azam, with some of them even believing that the Pakistani batsman is better than his Indian counterpart.
A colossal debate takes place always whenever the comparison of Babar and Virat comes up, but here’s a detailed statistical analysis that will clarify who is the better batsman – Kohli or Azam? Let’s have a look at Virat Kohli and Babar Azam’s stats in all three formats of the game:
Virat is the leading run-scorer in this form of international cricket, with 2,794 runs in 81 matches. On the other hand, Babar Azam has 1,471 runs to his name in 38 games. Since the Pakistani batsman has played lesser matches than his Indian rival, it would be better to compare their averages in this format.
Babar Azam also has a splendid average of 50.72 in T20Is, while the Delhi-based batsman has a slightly better score of 50.8. Hence, Kohli beats Azam in this aspect also. Surprisingly, ICC has ranked Babar at the number one position in the T20I rankings for batsmen while Virat stands at the tenth position in that list. Also, Azam has a better highest score than Kohli. None of the two batsmen have touched the three-figure mark despite entering in the nineties. Kohli’s highest score is 94, whereas Azam scored 97 runs in his best T20I inning.
The battle between Virat Kohli and Babar Azam is very stiff in T20I cricket.
Comparing their strike rates next, Virat Kohli has a stupendous strike rate of 131.61, whereas Babar Azam scores his runs at a slower strike rate of 128.14. However, the Pakistani skipper’s fifty scoring frequency is better than Kohli. Azam takes 2.92 innings to register a fifty while on the other side, Kohli surpasses the 50 runs milestone in every 3.375 innings.
Kohli has way better numbers than Azam in Tests. With seven double hundreds, 27 centuries and 22 fifties to his name, Virat has over 7,000 runs to his name and has a 50+ average in this format as well. Also, his strike rate is 57.68.
Pakistan’s Babar Azam falls behind him in every aspect of Test cricket. Be it the average, strike rate, or double centuries, Azam is nowhere near the Indian skipper. He is yet to touch the 2,000 runs mark in Test cricket. His Test average is 45.12, whereas his strike rate is 56.91. The right-handed batsman has never scored a double hundred in this format. Also, he has just five centuries in 48 innings.
The ‘Test’ battle between Virat Kohli and Babar Azam is clearly won by India’s Virat Kohli.
Virat once again has the upper hand against his rival here. His century conversion rate is the best. He has aggregated 11,867 runs in just 239 innings at an unbelievable average of 59.34. King Kohli scores run at a strike rate of 93.24 in ODIs.
Babar Azam has played only 74 ODI games, where he has amassed 3,359 runs at an average of 54.18. He has 11 hundred plus scores and 15 fifties to his name. His strike rate is below 90. Speaking of rankings, Kohli holds the first position in the ICC ODI rankings while Azam is two spots behind him.
Ultimately, one can conclude that even though Babar Azam is Pakistan’s best T20I batsman and, as per ICC, he is the best T20I batsman in the world But, he is still miles away from matching Virat Kohli’s feats. The Indian run-machine has established himself as the most dominant batsman of the world. Hence, Kohli is a better batsman than Azam in all the formats.
So far, there is no match between Virat Kohli and Babar Azam in ODI cricket. India’s Virat Kohli is arguably the best batsman in the history of ODI cricket.
NOTE: Stats updated 10th May 2020