With no cricketing activity going on around the world because of the Coronavirus pandemic, several debates and topics have become the favourite past-time of fans or experts. These topics generate a fair amount of buzz on social media circles and grab eyeballs especially if the chat is around about modern-day legend Virat Kohli and Pakistan’s rising superstar Babar Azam. The latter was recently appointed as Pakistan ODI skipper replacing veteran wicketkeeper Sarfaraz Ahmed. Also Read - Dinesh Karthik Talks About Training Schedule Post COVID-19 Break, Says Need Minimum 4 Weeks to Achieve Match Fitness
Addressing a virtual press conference on Monday, the 25-year-old Azam played down comparisons with Indian run-machine Kohli, saying it is not wise to do so as both are ‘different’ kind of players. Also Read - Delhi Capitals' Pacer Kagiso Rabada Rues IPL Postponement, Clears Air Around His On-field Aggression
“I think it’s better if you are not comparing. I have said that he is a different kind of a player, and I am a different player,” Azam quoted by PTI. Also Read - England Captain Joe Root in Doubt For First Test vs West Indies Due to ECB's COVID-19 Self-isolation Rule
“I am only striving to bat well and help my team to victory every time i take to the field.”
With consistent performances across three formats, Azam has been steadily rising up the ranks in recent years, while the Indian captain Kohli has already established himself as one of the greats of the game.
The COVID-19 outbreak has led to either cancellation or postponement of all sports events and there is a cloud of uncertainty over the T20 World Cup, scheduled to be held in October-November in Australia.
“Regarding the T20 World Cup, I am sure the ICC will take everything into consideration before making a decision, and the PCB said it will go ahead with series in England later this summer only when they are 110 percent sure,” Azam said.
Asked about the possibility of playing cricket behind closed doors in view of the COVID-19 pandemic, Azam said they are already used to it having played most of their homes series in near-empty stands in the grounds of UAE for more than 10 years.
“We know better than other teams how it feels to play without crowd having played most of our cricket in Dubai in last 10 years.
“It’s not a great feeling for fans and it’s not great for us also.”
No Test nation toured Pakistan for more than 10 years since the 2008 terrorist attack on the Sri Lankan team near the Gaddafi Stadium in Lahore.
In recent times, Azam has emerged as Pakistan’s best batsman and currently leads the ICC men’s T20 International rankings. He is also ranked third in ODIs and fifth in Tests respectively. Azam is the only man apart from Kohli to feature in the top 10 across all three formats.