Chennai Super Kings' South African batsman Faf du Plessis, who participated in Pakistan Super League's (PSL) play-offs after the conclusion of Indian Premier League (IPL) 2020, has weighed in on similarities between India captain Virat Kohli and his Pakistani counterpart Babar Azam. The 36-year-old former Protea captain has called both Kohli and Babar "extremely high-quality players".
Faf du Plessis, who scored 31 runs in a losing cause for Peshawar Zalmi against Lahore Qalandars in Eliminator 1, added that Babar Azam has surprised everyone with his abilities in T20 cricket.
“I do [see the similarity between Kohli and Babar]. They are extremely high-quality players. Babar, over the last year or so, has taken another step towards becoming one of the greats of the game so he has got an exciting future,” Faf du Plessis told Cricket Pakistan.
“I think he surprised a lot of people with his T20 cricket. People would have originally boxed him as a guy that hasn’t got a lot of power but certainly, of late his T20 game has been remarkable,” he added.
Notably, 26-year-old Babar Azam, the limited-overs captain of Pakistan, has recently been given the leadership role in the game's longest format as well. Babar is the second-ranked T20I player in the world and has amassed 1,681 runs at an average of 50.93. In ODIs and Tests, he is ranked third and fifth, respectively.
Virat Kohli on the other hand is the number one ranked ODI batsman. In Test cricket, he is placed at the second spot, while in T20I format he finds himself at the ninth spot. Virat Kohli also holds the rare record of averaging over fifty in all the three formats of the game.
Earlier, du Plessis had compared his CSK teammates and opening partner Ruturaj Gaikwad to RCB captain Virat Kohli.
"He (Gaikwad) looks like a young Virat Kohli doesn't he. What stands out for me the most is is his composure. Pressure situations don't really get to him. That is always pleasing to see in a young guy and looks like he has a bright future," he had said.