Babar Azam vs Virat Kohli Rivalry Renews: A Look At Player Battles In India vs Pakistan Clash

Virat Kohli and Babar are two of the finest batters in world cricket. Up against each other, the talismanic duo is set for multiple battles in the Asia Cup and the World Cup.

The first India vs Pakistan match could only see one innings being possible, with rain washing out the second innings. In the match, India’s talismanic batter Virat Kohli could only score 4 runs while his rival Babar Azam didn’t get the opportunity to bat. Over the years, Kohli and Babar have dominated the run-scoring records, pushing each other to excel for their respective teams. As India and Pakistan square off for one more time in the Super 4 stage of the Asia Cup, the Kohli vs Babar rivalry will be renewed, hopefully without any rain interruption this time.

The Virat Kohli vs Babar Azam Rivalry:

Babar made his ODI debut in 2015 when Virat was almost on the peak of his career. In 2015, both Virat and Babar’s ODI average was similar. Virat dominated Babar from 2016 until 2019 where both batters averaged similarly again.

This is when a shift was witnessed. Babar had a better average than Virat from 2020 – 2022.

It has been World Cup years (2015, 2019, 2023) when they both have similar batting averages. The World Cup years have been turning points in both their careers in terms of batting AVG against each other.

Since Babar’s ODI debut, Virat has been slightly better than Babar in terms of average and strike-rate.

Virat has batted 13 innings more than Babar and has better numbers than Babar in ODIs since the Pakistan batter’s debut.

Virat Kohli vs Pakistan:

Though the Indian cricketer was dismissed on 4 in the last game against Pakistan, he has great numbers against the men from across the border.

In the ODI matches played against Pakistan since 2015, Virat has scored 20.6% of the runs scored by Indian batters.

His batting average is almost double than that of the other batters against Pakistan since 2015.

Babar Azam vs India:

On the other hand, Babar has struggled against India in ODIs. His High Score against India in ODIs is 48

Indian Batters vs Pakistan Pacers:

India in their last encounter against Pakistan, lost all 10 wickets to the pacers – Shaheen (4), Naseem (3) & Rauf (3). Indian batters have comparatively underperformed against pace bowlers in ODIs in the recent.

The pace trio of Pakistan – Haris Rauf (9), Naseem Shah (7) and Shaheen Afridi (7) lead the charts of leading wicket-takers in Asia Cup 2023 so far.

Shaheen has been specifically effective against right-handed batters in ODIs since 2022. He dismissed Virat Kohli, Rohit Sharma, Hardik Pandya and Ravindra Jadeja in the previous match against India.

Shaheen enjoys bowling in the powerplay and the death overs in ODI since 2022. He picked up 2 wickets in each phase against India in the previous match.

Indian openers, as a whole, have been quite effective too. They put on a convincing 147 runs opening stand to register a 10 wicket in the last game against Nepal. Rohit and Shubman have started to open the innings for Team India and put on 845 runs in 10 innings which is most by a pair for any wicket in 2023.

As an opening pair Rohit and Gill average 93.9 which is the best by an Indian opening pair in a calendar year in ODIs with min. 500 runs. Interestingly Gill features twice in the top 3 pairs.

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