Virat Kohli vs Babar Azam: Statistical analysis on who is the better batsman in T20 internationals

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One of the biggest debates in modern-day cricket is to find the better T20 International batsman between India’s run-machine Virat Kohli and Pakistan’s talent Babar Azam. Some fans believe that Kohli is the maestro of T20 format just like he has excelled in the other two formats, while some say that when it comes to T20, then nobody is better than Babar.


Both the players were expected to take part in the T20 World Cup to be held in Australia this year, and it would have undoubtedly helped to get the right idea about the pair’s potentials, but due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the future of the global tournament looks in jeopardy.

Still, to get the clear picture regarding who is the best between the two outstanding batsmen, let’s head towards some interesting statistics which will reveal everything. For example, currently, Kohli is the leading run-scorer in the Men’s T20I cricket, whereas Babar is not even in the top 30 run-getters. This is also because Babar has played more than half the number of T20I matches as compared to Kohli. However, when it comes to the rankings in the shortest format, then the young Pakistani batter is ahead of the Indian skipper.


Babar is well placed at the top of the ICC T20I Batsmen’s rankings while Kohli is at the 10th spot. The biggest reason behind Kohli’s current rankings is that he has skipped quite a few T20I series against lower-ranked teams in the past.

So far Kohli has featured in 82 T20 matches at the international level, in which the Delhi-born has clubbed 2794 runs with an outstanding average of 50.80. With an impressive strike-rate of 138.24, the 31-year-old has smashed 24 half-centuries which is again the best by any player.

Babar, on the other hand, has played 38 games in the shortest format and accumulated 1471 runs with a brilliant average of 50.72 and a strike-rate of 128.13. The Lahore-born cricketer has so far smashed 13 fifties which is the highest by any Pakistani batsmen.


Both Kohli and Babar haven’t yet tasted the joy of reaching a triple-figure mark in T20 internationals. Kohli’s highest score is unbeaten 94 which came against West Indies at Hyderabad in December 2019. Similarly, Babar also reached his best score of unbeaten 97 against the same team back in April 2018 at Karachi.

Both the gems have contributed in so many matches for their respective teams. Kohli, who is known as a master of the chase in One-Day Internationals (ODIs), has impressed everyone with his chasing ability in the shorter format as well.


The Indian star batsman has so far appeared in 34 innings while chasing a score in T20Is and has scored 1561 runs with a breathtaking average of 82.15. He has also slammed 16 half-centuries in the process. While Babar has played 16 such innings and with an average of 41.16, the Pakistani run-machine has amassed 494 runs with the help of four fifties.

When it comes to contributing to winning causes, even then Kohli is far ahead of his counterpart from Pakistan. In 49 such innings where ‘Men in Blue’ ended up winning the contest, Kohli played a vital role behind those victories. Member of the fab-four has stockpiled 1948 runs with a magnificent average of 64.93. Kohli has also scored 18 fifties during the winning innings.


Speaking about Babar, then in 26 games where Pakistan registered a win, the 25-year-old has amassed 991 runs with an impressive average of 55.05. With a strike-rate of 128.86, Babar has nine half-centuries to his name when his side won the battles.

When it comes to hitting off the glory shots, then Babar has smashed 146 fours and 21 sixes in T20 internationals, whereas Kohli has hammered 258 fours and 78 maximums.

Overall, one could say that Babar still has a long way to go to be fairly compared with Kohli as the major difference between the two is the number of matches.


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About the Author:
Akshat is just another cricket fan who’s grown up watching the likes of Sachin Tendulkar and Rahul Dravid. Cricket runs in his veins. Cover drive is his favorite sight, and a ball meeting the middle of the bat is his favorite sound. You can write to him at akshat.gaur@crickettimes.com or aks333.in@gmail.com and follow him on Twitter, Facebook & Linkedin.