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Babar Azam invites comparisons with Kohli, eyes to break Tendulkar's record in ICC World Cup 2019

Babar Azam made a match-winning hundred against New Zealand

London, June 27: Pakistan has always had super stars in their bowling department but could only longingly look at the batting riches of India or lament their own batsmen failing to convert the early signs of potential. They had the likes of Hanif Mohammad, Javed Miandad, Zaheer Abbas, Younus Khan, Inzamam-ul-Haq and Mohammad Yousuf but the spotlight has always been on the magicians with the ball. Now, Babar Azam could change that.

Azam showed why he has been rated so high and even compared to Virat Kohli with a brilliant hundred in Pakistan's six-wicket win over New Zealand. The knock left some, including the man himself, pleased and some in awe.

1. Babar can match Kohli: Grant Flower

1. Babar can match Kohli: Grant Flower

"He is very special. I believe he is going to be one of the best that Pakistan have ever produced. He's really hungry, is fit and still very young. He's got Virat's hunger. I think he could be at some point in the future. He's definitely got that hunger, so if you practice as hard as he does, and you have his skills, I can't see why he can't get to the top."

"He's had flu over the last couple of days. Tuesday was the first time I've not seen him hit any balls the day before a match," Flower, the Pakistan batting coach, revealed. "Confidence-wise, this is definitely his best one (century). I've seen him get quite a few hundreds on pretty flat wickets, but this was a tough wicket - it was turning, Ferguson was bowling fast and there was a lot of pressure because of the context of the tournament."

2. My best innings: Babar

2. My best innings: Babar

"This is my best innings," he said. "The wicket was very difficult and turned a lot in the second half. The plan was to go through to the end and give my 100 per cent. When we started, the plan was to see out Ferguson but when Santner came on, the plan became not to give wickets to him and cover up later when the fast bowlers come on."

3. Babar eyes Tendulkar mark

3. Babar eyes Tendulkar mark

Sachin Tendulkar scored 523 runs for India at the 1996 World Cup aged just 22. It's a record the 24-year-old Babar, currently on 333 at this tournament, may well be eyeing, with two more group matches to come against Afghanistan and Bangladesh. He is fifth on the list of all-time under-25 run scorers, level with Brian Lara's contribution in 1992, and within touching distance of Ricky Ponting's 354 in 1999 and AB de Villiers 372 in 2007.

4. Santner in awe of Babar

4. Santner in awe of Babar

"It's not easy (facing Babar). That was a pretty special knock out there. He looked like he had it in him from the word go and the way he paced his innings was pretty special. Him and Haris Sohail took it away from us in those middle overs. When teams get momentum, they are difficult to stop."

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Story first published: Thursday, June 27, 2019, 13:15 [IST]
Other articles published on Jun 27, 2019
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