ICC Cricket World Cup 2019: Babar Azam can match Virat Kohli, feels Pakistan batting coach Grant Flower

Babar Azam struck a 101 run knock in Pakistan's win over New Zealand while chasing 238 to win. Grant Flower likened Azam's hunger to that of Virat Kohli.

Press Trust of India, Jun 27, 2019 11:19:31 IST

Birmingham: Pakistan batting coach Grant Flower feels Babar Azam has got Indian run-machine Virat Kohli's "hunger" and the talent to match his idol's awe-inspiring feats one day.

ICC Cricket World Cup 2019: Babar Azam can match Virat Kohli, feels Pakistan batting coach Grant Flower

File photo of Pakistan batting coach Grant Flower. Reuters

In a must-win match, Babar oozed class on his way to an unbeaten hundred, guiding Pakistan to a six-wicket win over New Zealand in the World Cup here Wednesday.

"He is very special. I believe he is going to be one of the best that Pakistan have ever produced. He's really hungry, is fit and still very young," Flower said.

"I think he'll have a really good career if he keeps his feet on the ground, which I think he will. He's got Virat's hunger. I think he could be at some point in the future," Flower added when asked about comparisons with Kohli.

Chasing a tricky target of 238, Pakistan were 110 for three at the halfway stage, but Babar stood tall with his 101-run knock at the Edgbaston.

Impressed by his batsman's performance, Flower, a former Zimbabwe opener, said, "He's definitely got that hunger, so if you practice as hard as he does, and you have his skills, I can't see why he can't get to the top."

During his knock, Babar also became the second fastest to 3000 runs in one-day internationals. The Pakistani achieved the feat in 68 innings, which is seven fewer than Kohli. The 24-year-old is now only behind South Africa's Hashim Amla, who achieved the feat in 11 fewer outings.

On Babar, Flower further said, "He's had flu over the last couple of days. Tuesday was the first time I've not seen him hit any balls the day before a match.

"Confidence-wise, this is definitely his best one (century).

"I've seen him get quite a few hundreds on pretty flat wickets, but this was a tough wicket - it was turning, (Lockie) Ferguson was bowling fast and there was a lot of pressure because of the context of the tournament.

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Updated Date: Jun 27, 2019 11:19:31 IST


World Cup 2019 Points Table

Team p w l nr pts
India 9 7 1 1 15
Australia 9 7 2 0 14
England 9 6 3 0 12
New Zealand 9 5 3 1 11
Pakistan 9 5 3 1 11
Sri Lanka 9 3 4 2 8
South Africa 9 3 5 1 7
Bangladesh 9 3 5 1 7
West Indies 9 2 6 1 5
Afghanistan 9 0 9 0 0





Rank Team Points Rating
1 India 3631 113
2 New Zealand 2547 111
3 South Africa 2917 108
4 England 3663 105
5 Australia 2640 98
6 Sri Lanka 3462 94
Rank Team Points Rating
1 England 6420 123
2 India 6807 122
3 New Zealand 4763 113
4 Australia 5470 112
5 South Africa 5193 110
6 Pakistan 4756 97
Rank Team Points Rating
1 Pakistan 7365 283
2 England 4253 266
3 South Africa 4196 262
4 Australia 5471 261
5 India 7273 260
6 New Zealand 4056 254