Between August 2017 and April 2021, Virat Kohli, the former captain of the Indian cricket team, was the best in the One-Day International (ODI) cricket, and no other player could beat him. But on April 19, 2021, Babar Azam took over the top spot, ending Kohli’s reign of 1,258 days.
The talk about who’s better, Babar Azam or Virat Kohli, started when Babar Azam began playing for Pakistan in 2015. People noticed that he had a lot in common with Kohli, especially when Kohli was young. Even though Babar didn’t win the U-19 world title like Kohli did, it was clear he was going to be a great player.
When Babar started his international career, Kohli had already played more than 150 One-Day Internationals and scored over 20 centuries. In 2022, Babar Azam became the fastest player to reach 2,000 ODI runs, doing it in 47 matches, while Kohli took 56 matches to achieve the same milestone.
The rivalry between Virat Kohli and Babar Azam has become one of the most exciting matchups in cricket, like when India plays against Pakistan. Both of them have set really high standards in international cricket and are crucial players in their teams.
Kohli has been playing for a longer time, since 2008, which is seven years before Babar Azam started in international cricket. The debate about who’s better, Kohli or Babar, is a big one and needs a detailed discussion to truly understand it. So, let’s take a closer look at the numbers of Virat Kohli vs Babar Azam.
Virat Kohli vs Babar Azam Stats
The debate has been ongoing for years, ever since Pakistani skipper Babar Azam made his international debut in 2015. Fans have often compared him to Virat Kohli, noting the similarities in their playing styles since Kohli’s U-19 days. However, it’s worth mentioning that when Babar Azam played his first international match, Kohli already had experience in 150 ODI matches. Let’s take a look at both players’ stats across formats.
Also see: Virat Kohli Total Centuries
Virat Kohli vs Babar Azam in T20Is
The closest comparison between the two cricketers is in the T20 format. Virat Kohli has featured in 115 T20Is, while Babar Azam has made 104 appearances in the shortest format for Pakistan. Kohli is the leading run-scorer in T20Is with 4,008 runs at an average of 52.73, including 37 half-centuries and a century. On the other hand, Babar has accumulated 3,485 runs at an average of 41.48, along with 30 half-centuries and three centuries. Notably, Kohli hasn’t played a single T20I game since the semi-final of the 2022 T20 World Cup against England.
Virat Kohli vs Babar Azam in ODIs
In the ODI format, there are many similarities between the two batters. Babar Azam is the fastest player to reach 5,000 ODI runs, achieving the feat in just 97 innings, while Virat Kohli took 114 innings to reach this milestone.
Kohli is the fifth-leading run-scorer in ODIs with 12,898 runs in 275 matches. The 34-year-old is also just behind Sachin Tendulkar in the list of players with the most ODI centuries, having scored 46. However, Babar surpasses Kohli in batting average, boasting the fourth-highest average in ODIs at 59.47 across 104 matches. Kohli trails just behind him with an average of 57.32.
Also Check: India vs Pakistan Head to Head in All Formats
Virat Kohli vs Babar Azam in Tests
In Test cricket, Virat Kohli is far ahead of Babar Azam. The Indian skipper has amassed 8,676 runs in 111 Tests, including 29 centuries, while Babar has scored 3,772 runs in 49 matches, with nine centuries to his name.
Both Babar Azam and Virat Kohli will be in action against each other in the India vs Pakistan clash in the Asia Cup 2023 on Saturday. The Pakistani skipper displayed excellent form in the previous match against Nepal, scoring 151 runs off 131 balls. Kohli has also been in good touch in 2023 and is eagerly looking forward to facing Pakistan.