After the India and Pakistan Asia Cup Super-4 match, ex-India captain Virat Kohli heaped praise on ‘nice guy’ Babar Azam and said the Pakistan skipper is always ‘keen to learn’.
At the post-match presentation on Sunday, Kohli was asked about the comparison between him and Babar and the former Indian captain was nothing short of praise for the Pakistan skipper.
Kohli believes there is a healthy amount of respect between the India and Pakistan players, despite the fierce on-field rivalry between the two sides.
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.”
The 33-year-old batter 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,” he added.
Kohli believes this stems from the mutual respect between both sides and also the courteous nature of the Pakistan players. He stated, “It’s always nice to meet him (Babar) and also the other guys (from Pakistan). They are all very friendly and get along nicely with all of us. There is mutual respect between both teams.
“I have realised that it was there to be seen last year as well (during the ICC Men’s T20 World Cup). We are very competitive on the field but very respectful.”
In a thrilling game on Sunday night, Pakistan won the match by five wickets, with one ball remaining. They chased down a total of 182 in the final over, courtesy of some brilliant contributions from Mohammad Rizwan and Mohammad Nawaz.
India will next India will next face off against Sri Lanka in a Super Four encounter on Tuesday, with the clash being a must-win encounter for Rohit Sharma’s men.