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 115 games while Babar has played 99. In these outings, the former has scored 4008 runs as of today, batting at an average of 52.73. Babar, on the other hand, has accumulated 3,355 runs at an average of 41.41.
t is fascinating to know that despite playing 16 T20I matches more than the Pakistani batter, Kohli has managed to keep his average above 50. While Babar has smashed two hundreds in cricket’s shortest format, Virat has slammed one century in T20I format. Meanwhile, Kohli has hit 37 half-centuries compared to Babar’s 30.
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 ODIs He is the fastest player to breach the 12,000-run mark, having done so in just 251 matches.
As far as Test cricket is concerned, Kohli once again leads the charts with 8,195 runs in 106 Tests, compared to Babar’s 3,696 runs in 47 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 74 international centuries overall towers over Babar’s record of 28 tons across all formats.
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 2,065 runs in just 66 matches. During this time, the Pakistan batter has hit two tons and 20 half-centuries.
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.
Speaking of their win/loss records in the shortest format of cricket, Babar Azam has won 40 and lost 21 of his 66 Twenty20 Internationals as captain. Kohli, on the other hand, won 30 of his 50 T20I matches as captain, losing 16 times.
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 18 Tests as captain, winning eight and losing six.
When it comes to captaining the ODI side, Babar only has the experience of 21 matches as Pakistan’s 50-overs skipper during which time he has won 13 and has lost seven matches. Kohli, however, has captained India in 95 ODIs where he has ended victoriously on 65 occasions while losing 27.