Babar Azam (L) and Virat Kohli | AFP
New Delhi: Virat Kohli has struggled for runs over the past two years but Pakistan legend Wasim Akram feels the former India captain remains one of the all time greats and comparing Babar Azam with him is still a bit premature.
All eyes will be on Kohli when India meet Pakistan in their Asia Cup opener in Dubai on Sunday. Kohli will come into the match with a fresh mind having taken a break for the away series against the West Indies.
While Kohli has gone through an extended lean patch with no hundred since November 2019, the much younger Babar seems to be at the peak of his powers and doing well across formats.
"First of all let me start by saying that criticism from Indian fans against Kohli has been unnecessary. He is one of the greatest of all times not just this era. He still fit as a fiddle. He is still one of the best fielders in the Indian squad.
"As they say class is forever and that is Virat Kohli. Hope he doesn't come back to form against Pakistan but he will come back eventually," said Akram in a press conference organised by Star Sports, the official broadcaster for Asia Cup.
On Babar being compared with Kohli, the former Pakistan captain said it is still a tad too early.
"The comparisons are only natural. When we played people used to compare Inzamam, Rahul Dravid and Sachin Tendulkar. Before that it was Sunil Gavaskar Javed Miandad, G Vishwanath and Zaheer Abbas.
"Babar has been very consistent, because he has got the right technique. He is very hungry and very fit. He is still a young captain but is learning very fast. However, comparisons with Virat it is too early.
"Babar is on the right track to be where Virat Kohli is but to compare him with him at this stage is too early. But he is absolutely on the right track to be one of the modern greats," said Akram in a call with longtime rival and friend Ravi Shastri. PTI