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Asia Cup: Babar Azam does remind me very much of Virat Kohli, says Tom Moody


New Delhi, Aug 26 (IANS) Former Australian cricketer Tom Moody discussed the similarities between two modern-day batting greats in Virat Kohli and Babar Azam in the 50-over format game, saying the Pakistan skipper reminds him a lot about the talismanic Indian batter.

“I think absolutely he is. He does remind me very much of Virat Kohli, the way he goes about his business. He plays authentic cricket shots. He seems to understand, read the game very well, which Kohli has done for over a decade. He is a good chaser as well like Virat Kohli has proven to be over many, many years.”

“So, there’s so much likeness between the two and I wouldn’t go as far as saying that Virat is gonna have a better Asia Cup than Babar Azam, but they both can have equal pressure on them and it’s gonna be a delight to watch them both bat because they are box office,” Moody was quoted as saying by Star Sports.

The upcoming edition of the Asia Cup will be held from August 30 – September 17 in Pakistan and Sri Lanka. India will be opening its Asia Cup Group A campaign against Pakistan on September 2 at the Pallekele International Cricket Stadium in Kandy.

Moody believes Azam being Pakistan’s captain for a while has enhanced his leadership skills, on which he can bank upon during the Asia Cup. “Well, the captaincy for any captain in any Asian team is always a very challenging one.”

“The microscope is very much on every single captain and every single move and suddenly you’ve got so many experts out there when you do make a move that maybe not be the right move at the time but I think that he’s still dealing with the growing pressures of captaincy there’s no question of that.”

“So, you know, he’ll only continue to get better. He is also got around him, I mentioned the experience of this Pakistan side now he’s also got a lot of experience around him and a lot of players that have been in captaincy roles whether that be in franchise cricket or in their domestic cricket, so he’s got a lot of strong leadership pillars around which I’m sure he’ll draw upon,” he elaborated.

Taking forward Moody’s view, former India cricketer Sanjay Manjrekar spoke about the qualities of Kohli and Azam by drawing a comparison between the two. “Absolutely, and we can expect that to happen again. Just one thing that you know people like Tendulkar and Virat Kohli have had to deal with that they’ve had long careers and they sort of have spanned over 10-15 years and anytime there’s been a rising star, he’s been compared to a guy who’s been in the race for a long time.”

“So sometimes it can be a little unfair but the greatness of these two guys is that they maintain that standard that the best performance of a rising player is equated with it. Yes, both are very good players.”

“One obviously in his prime younger but coming to these kind of platform we want to say Virat Kohli and see with the format that we have here not the T20 format, Asia Cup this time round you might just see a bit Babar Azam and maybe show his place as well.”


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