Pakistan never ceases to produce exciting young cricketers. Presently, the man who is garnering all the rave reviews, from the batting department, is Babar Azam. Boasting of an incredible record and scoring runs with stupendous consistency, Babar has even managed to stay ahead of the man he is compared with in terms of matches taken for reaching some of the key batting milestones.
As the young Pakistani batsman enjoys a fruitful time with the English county Somerset in the ongoing T20 Blast, England's premier T20 tournament, these comparisons are once again coming to the surface. But Azam has now spoken out and made it clear that he does not look upon them that favourably.
The 24-year old gave an interview to cricket website PakPassion.net where he outrightly stated that being compared to someone is merely a matter of concern for the fans, not for him.
"I don't think there is or should be any comparison as we are different types of players. I just focus on my batting and working on my strengths and weaknesses and have no desire to be compared with any other cricketer.
I'm sure I speak for most cricketers when I say comparisons are only for fans and the media and we cricketers don't really crave any comparisons or want to be compared to any current or former players as that just creates endless pressure," Babar asserted.
He also made a categorical statement about not wanting to be compared to anyone. "As great as he is, I don't want to be compared to Virat or any other cricketer, I just want to win matches for my country as that is my only aim."
When asked about the batsman he felt most impressed with during the World Cup, the Pakistani right-hander didn't mention Kohli but the Player-of-the-Tournament Kane Williamson.
"I really enjoy watching Kane Williamson bat, apart from when he is scoring runs against Pakistan. What impressed me most about Williamson is the way he paces his innings, the way he plays his shots so late, his calmness at the crease, his timing, the way he handles pressure and the way he leads from the front and absorbs responsibility. He's just a fantastic role-model for any batsman and he is a batsman who I try to emulate."
One area where Azam has faced criticism is his lack of aggression, at times, in limited-overs game. He, however, seems content with his playing style and doesn't put much value on his critics' comments.
"I don't need to answer my critics regarding this. My statistics and performances speak for themselves. I am happy and satisfied with my performances for Pakistan to date and if people want to criticise, then they are free to do that.... Sometimes whatever you do is never good enough and you will receive criticism despite doing your best for your team," Babar added.