Pakistan head coach Mickey Arthur believes Pakistan’s young right-hand batsman Babar Azam is as good as Indian Test captain Virat Kohli.
Azam recently scored an unbeaten 90 in the second Test against New Zealand in difficult batting conditions and Arthur says he deserves the high praise.
Mohammad Akram hails Babar Azam's resilience in alien conditions
"He’s a young gun who will be an exceptional player," said Arthur. "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.”
Azam, who averages 46.40 after three Tests, is way ahead of Kohli who had an average of 15.2 after the same number of matches.
However, a better comparison of both batsmen could be done using their ODI statistics. Babar, who has represented Pakistan in 18 ODIs, has three centuries, five fifties and an average of 52.11 to his name.
Meanwhile, Kohli, after the same number of matches, had only one ton and an average of 50 to his name.
‘No training caused havoc against NZ’
Pakistan were beaten 2-0 in the recently concluded series against New Zealand, first series loss after 31 years, but Arthur thinks the build-up to the series was not good.
"I think we've become better and better as the series has gone on," Arthur said on Perth's 6PR radio station. "We arrived straight from Dubai to five days of rain in Nelson so we didn't get any training or a practice game, which was completely rained out. And there was an earthquake as well.”
He added: "We almost went into the first Test match pretty cold, played OK there and we've played a lot better in this [second] Test match. Had this series gone another Test match we would have been better for the conditions. Hopefully, this has put us in good stead for what we can experience in Australia.”
Mickey Arthur was quoted by The Sydney Morning Herald