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Between August 2017 to April 2021, former Indian cricket team captain Virat Kohli dominated the ODI circuit to an extent that no other player managed to dethrone the batter from his number 1 ODI ranking. On April 19, 2021, though, all that changed when Babar Azam ended Kohli’s reign of 1,258 days on top of the ODI rankings for batters.

The Babar Azam vs Virat Kohli debate, in fact, has been a hot topic ever since the Pakistan captain made his international debut in 2015. The reason was understandable as Babar had emulated a lot of the things that Kohli had managed during his U-19 days. Even though the U-19 world title eluded the Pakistan batter unlike Kohli, Babar looked destined for greatness.

By the time Babar played his first international match for Pakistan, Kohli had already appeared in more than 150 One-Day Internationals, hitting 20 plus tons. Fast forward to 2022, and it is Babar Azam who is now the fastest player to score 2,000 ODI runs as it only took him 47 matches to do so. On the contrary, it took Kohli 56 matches to reach the milestone. With that in mind, here’s a closer look at how the stats stack up when we compare two of cricket’s modern greats.

Babar Azam vs Virat Kohli stats

The closest comparison we can make between the two is in T20 internationals where the Indian batter has played 97 games while Babar has played 74. In these outings, the former has scored 3,296 runs as of today, batting at an average of 51.5. Babar, on the other hand, has accumulated 2,686 runs at an average of 45.52.

Babar Azam vs Virat Kohli in T20I
Player Matches Runs Average Strike rate 100s 50s
Virat Kohli 97 3296 51.5 137.67 0 30
Babar Azam 74 2686 45.52 129.44 1 26

It is fascinating to know that despite playing 20 T20I matches more than the Pakistani, Kohli has managed to keep his average above 50. The only thing eluding him in T20Is is a lack of century in the format, which Babar has. However, he has hit 30 half-centuries compared to Babar’s 26.

Since we are talking numbers, let’s also take a look at Babar Azam vs Virat Kohli stats in other formats. Kohli is only one of the six players in history to have scored more than 12,000 runs in the format, with the batter scoring 12,311 runs to date. He is the fastest player to breach the 12,000-run mark, having done so in just 251 matches.

Babar Azam vs Virat Kohli in ODI
Player Matches Runs Average Strike rate 100s 50s
Virat Kohli 260 12,311 58.07 92.92 43 64
Babar Azam 87 4364 59.78 90.42 17 18

As far as Test cricket is concerned, Kohli once again leads the charts with 8,043 runs in 101 Tests, compared to Babar’s 2,851 runs in 40 Test matches. Furthermore, Kohli is also the fastest player to score 7,000 runs in the longest format having done so in just 81 matches.

As far as centuries across all formats go, Kohli is miles ahead of Babar. The Indian legend’s 70 international centuries overall towers over Babar’s record of 24 tons across all formats.

Babar Azam vs Virat Kohli in Test
Player Matches Runs Average Strike rate 100s 50s
Virat Kohli 101 8043 49.95 55.69 27 28
Babar Azam 40 2851 45.98 53.78 6 21

Babar Azam vs Virat Kohli captaincy record

Now, this is where things get interesting. Since being named Pakistan’s T20I captain in 2019, Babar has scored 1,330 runs in just 35 innings, batting at an average of 41.56. During this time, the Pakistan batter has hit a ton and 15 half-centuries.

Babar Azam vs Virat Kohli T20I captaincy record
Virat Kohli Metrics Babar Azam
50 Matches 41
30 Won 26
16 Lost 10
1570 Runs 1330

As for Kohli, his first assignment as T20I captain came in 2017 before his reign as skipper came to an end in 2021. During this time, Kohli scored 1,570 runs as T20I captain in 50 matches, batting at an average and strike rate of 47.57 and 140.55 respectively.

Both players have similar records in the shortest format of cricket. In his 41 Twenty20 Internationals as captain, Babar has won 26 matches and lost 10. Kohli, on the other hand, won 30 of his 50 T20I matches as captain, losing 16 times.

Babar Azam vs Virat Kohli Test captaincy record
Virat Kohli Metrics Babar Azam
68 Matches 11
40 Won 7
17 Lost 2
5608 Runs 416

As far as Test cricket is concerned, Kohli has captained India in 68 Tests, winning an impressive 40 while losing 17 times and drawing on 11 occasions. Babar, meanwhile, only took charge of the Test team in 2020 and has played a mere eight Tests as captain, winning seven and losing once.

Babar Azam vs Virat Kohli ODI captaincy record
Virat Kohli Metrics Babar Azam
95 Matches 9
65 Won 4
27 Lost 4
5449 Runs 626

When it comes to captaining the ODI side, Babar only has the experience of 13 matches as Pakistan’s 50-overs skipper during which time he has won seven and has lost fivematches. Kohli, however, has captained India in 95 ODIs where he has ended victorious on 65 occasions while losing 27.

Featured photo: AFP / Aamir Qureshi

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