Former Indian skipper Virat Kohli was on Sunday all praise for the Men in Green after they won the Super Four stage match of the ongoing Asia Cup 2022 saying that “Pakistan are not only a competitive but also a respectful team.”
“It’s always nice meeting Babar Azam and all the other guys [in the team]. They are all very sweet and friendly to all of us. There is mutual respect between both the team,” Kohli said while speaking at a press conference after the hi-octane match between Pakistan and India.
Speaking about Azam, Kohli said that the Pakistan skipper is always keen to learn as he recalled that the latter always sought the former’s advice during the Under-19 World Cup in which the two participated.
“It’s no surprise that he [Babar] is playing like this in all the formats of the game. He is also a very, very talented player,” the former Indian skipper added.
Kohli was also asked about the comparison between him and Babar Azam and the former Indian captain was nothing short of praise for the Pakistan skipper. Kohli believes the pair have always had a relationship based on respect, with Babar also tweeting out his support for the Indian stalwart during his lean patch with the bat.
Kohli also isn’t surprised with Babar’s performances across all the formats with the bat. Babar is currently the No.1-ranked batter in the world in ODIs and T20Is on the MRF Tyres ICC Men’s Player Rankings.
Lauding the Pakistan captain, Kohli said, “Babar is a very nice guy. I have always had good conversations with him. I am not sure about kinship since he is much younger to me, but there is respect. There is always respect.”
Kohli also recalled an incident where Babar approached him for advice after the two sides met in the ICC Men’s Cricket World Cup in 2019. “He was always keen to learn. He spoke to me after our game in the 2019 World Cup. I have always said he is keen to learn, and there’s no surprise that he is playing like this in all formats of the game. He is obviously a very talented player,” Kohli added.
The bonhomie and camaraderie between the players from both sides have also been visible during the tournament, with them often engaging in friendly conversations and interactions with each other.
NEW RECORD: Kohli broke the record for most fifties in T20Is with a half-century against Pakistan in Dubai on Sunday.
The fifty was Kohli’s fourth against Pakistan in T20Is and the 32nd of his career.