Pakistan coach Mickey Arthur compared 22-year-old Pakistani batsman Babar Azam with Indian batting starlet Virat Kohli on Thursday. The former Australian coach believed that the youngster would imitate Indian star when he will earn experience with the Pakistan team.
Babar Azam has played only three Tests for Pakistan. He missed a hundred at Seddon Park, Hamilton against New Zealand as his side left him unbeaten as Pakistan bowled out. In his 10 ODI matches, he scored three hundred. All these hundred came in consecutive matches against West Indies in UAE earlier this year.
“He (Azam) is a young gun who will be an exceptional player,” Arthur told Perth’s 6PR radio ahead of Pakistan’s sole warm-up match for their three-Test series against Australia.
“I’ll go so far as to say, at the same age, I reckon he’s as good as Virat Kohli, which I know that’s high praise but he’s right up there.”
After the West Indies series victory in UAE, Pakistan have retained the same 16 men squad for the Australia series. The same squad lost the two-Test series 2-0 against New Zealand.
The South African Arthur will meet Australia for the first time after being sacked serving two-year with Cricket Australia. His tenure ended in June 2013. He said his side his ready to fire against demoralised Australian side as the host the lost the home series against South Africa by a 2-1 margin. The series loss in New Zealand for the first time in 1989 has given a lesson to Pakistan team.
“Had that series went another Test match, we would have been better for the conditions,” he said of the New Zealand tour.“Hopefully, this has put us in good stead for what we can experience in Australia.”
Pakistan will play a three-day pink-ball match next week against a Cricket Australia XI in Cairns before the first Test which will be a day/night affair in Brisbane starting on December 15. The remaining two matches will be played in Melbourne (December 26-30) and Sydney (January 3-7).
Following the three-Test series, Pakistan will play five-match ODI series against Australia.