Former South African legend AB de Villiers reckoned that if India want to dominate Pakistan, they will have to outclass Babar Azam. The Indian team is currently locking horns with Pakistan at the Pallekele International Stadium.
Pakistan started their Asia Cup 2023 campaign with a win against Nepal with Babar Azam scoring 151 runs at the Multan Cricket Stadium. Babar also broke Virat Kohli’s record of their highest individual score by a skipper in the history of ODIs. On the back of Babar’s knock, Pakistan registered a 238-run win to start their campaign.
“I love talking about Babar Azam because he is one of the best players we have ever seen play this game and not just now. He is a huge rock in the Pakistan batting order. If India wants to keep Pakistan quiet, this is the guy to dismiss early because he keeps the batting line-ups together and acts as glue in the Pakistan middle-order,” De Villiers said on his YouTube channel.
De Villiers also recollected when he met Babar and said Pakistan’s skipper is required to keep up his good run in order to do well in the Asia Cup and in the World Cup.
“I met him first when he [Babar] was very young but quickly realized that this guy is here to stay. He has hurt bowling attacks all around the world and in all formats. He is a fantastic player and Pakistan need him in form for the Asia Cup and most importantly, for the World Cup,” he added.
Talking about the India vs Pakistan clash, Rohit Sharma won the toss and decided to bat first. The Indian team suffered a few early blows as they lost their top four batters Rohit, Gill, Kohli, and Iyer early in the innings.
India (Playing XI): Rohit Sharma(c), Shubman Gill, Ishan Kishan(w), Virat Kohli, Shreyas Iyer, Hardik Pandya, Ravindra Jadeja, Shardul Thakur, Kuldeep Yadav, Jasprit Bumrah, Mohammed Siraj.
Pakistan (Playing XI): Fakhar Zaman, Imam-ul-Haq, Babar Azam(c), Mohammad Rizwan(w), Agha Salman, Iftikhar Ahmed, Shadab Khan, Mohammad Nawaz, Shaheen Afridi, Naseem Shah, Haris Rauf.