Shahid Afridi reveals one quality that Babar Azam lacks to match batsmen like Virat Kohli or Steve Smith.
Babar is currently the number one batsman in ICC T20I rankings.
The buzz around Babar Azam has been getting louder with each passing day. He is the number one T20I batsman and ranks inside top-ten in the other two formats of the game as well.
At just 25, Babar has drawn incessant comparisons to some of the finest modern-days batting talents. However, some experts feel he still has a long way to go if he wants his name to be taken in the same breath as of Virat Kohli and Steve Smith.
Former Pakistan cricketer Shahid Afridi believes that Babar Azam needs to polish his craft and convert excellent starts into big totals on a regular basis, as the likes of Smith and Kohli does for their team.
“Babar has right set of skills but needs to polish them further to develop as a great one,” Afridi told BBC Sports before the ongoing second Test of England – Pakistan series.
“He is very talented – the backbone of the team – but needs to score big runs. If Babar wants to become like Root, Kohli, Australia’s Steve Smith or South African AB de Villiers then he needs to convert his fifties into hundreds,” he added.
The stylish right-handed batsman scored an impressive half-century but failed to convert that into a big hundred in the Manchester Test.
Afridi earlier remarked that he thought Babar would excel in both ODI and Test cricket but couldn’t replicate his rich vein of form in the shortest format of the game.
But, the former all-rounder got his analysis wrong as Babar averages over 50 in both ODI and T20I cricket.
“I thought Babar Azam would survive in Tests and ODIs but not in T20Is. This was my opinion. But the way that guy has polished and groomed himself. The shots he plays. It depends on the goals you set yourself. It is always hard work,” Afridi asserted.