File photo of Virat Kohli and Babar Azam.©AFP
Star India paste Virat Kohli spoke about his equation with the Pakistani captain Babar Azam ahead of the much-anticipated clash between the two arch-rivals in the Asian Cup on Sunday. Kohli revealed he first met Babar at the 2019 World Cup and said the Pakistani star has always treated him with ‘respect and respect’ and that hasn’t changed despite his growing stature . Kohli hailed Babar as “the best batsman in the world in any format” right now and also said he was the kind of player the cricketing world needed.
“The first interaction I had with him was the 2019 World Cup after the game in Manchester. Him and Imad (Wasim). I know Imad from under 19 cricket, we played against each other others and Imad said Babar wanted to have a chat,” Kohli said in a chat with Star Sports.
“We sat down and talked about the game. I saw a lot of esteem and respect from him and that hasn’t changed regardless of the fact that he’s probably the best batsman in the world right now in all formats, with such a consistent performance,” said the former Indian skipper.
“And rightly so, he’s got incredible talent and I’ve always enjoyed watching him play. So that hasn’t changed. He’s performing now and he’s coming into his own, but I don’t see his attitude or his approach. change towards me, which is a very good sign of someone who is very grounded in the fundamentals of his upbringing,” Kohli continued.
“His cricketing fundamentals are also very strong. So those kinds of players, those kinds of characters go a long way and inspire a lot of people. And I see that happening with him as well,” he said.
Kohli was seen chatting with Babar ahead of the Asian Cup.
“I congratulated him yesterday on the way he played and told him how amazing it was to watch him and I wish him all the best,” Kohli revealed.
“And he deserves all of that. And ultimately you need to have players like him to keep world cricket exciting,” he said.
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