Former Pakistan captain Rashid Latif has opined that Babar Azam, who was recently handed over Test captaincy, has to learn and become a leader like Virat Kohli. He also added that Virat has turned himself into a great leader and is respected by people not only on the field but off it as well.
Indian skipper Virat Kohli has created a very respectable place for himself in world cricket with his exploits on the cricket field especially his batting, which has been one of the best in the business in the last decade or so. Pakistan's Babar Azam is generally compared to Kohli for the class he shows in his batting and also the career trajectory as just like Virat he first tasted great success in limited-overs cricket and took some time to replicate the same in the longer format but now has arrived on the Test level as well.
And now like Kohli, he is also his team's skipper in all formats of the game though at a younger age. Former Pakistan captain Rashid Latif praised Kohli and stated that he has turned into a leader and is loved by people off the field as well.
“Virat has developed into a leader and in cricket and sports, when you are made the captain, you have to become a leader,” Latif told a Pakistani YouTube channel, reported Hindustan Times.
“By that, I mean you have to be respected on and off the field. You have to stand up for your players and you have to take the hard and out of box decisions,” he said.
Rashid also stated that Kohli's stature as a batsman has earned him a lot of respect. Kohli has 7,240 Test runs at 53.63, 12,040 ODI runs at 59.31 and 2,928 T20I runs at an average of 50.48 and a strike-rate of 138.44. He is currently ranked No.3 in Tests, no.1 in ODIs, and no.8 in T20Is.
“You look at Virat today and he is a complete leader and his own stature as a batsman has also helped a lot. But you can see in the attitude of the Indian team and their selection, Virat has his say in every thing,” he added.
The former gloveman opined Babar has to be like Virat and feels that he is already on the right path and also lauded the mental toughness of the young Pakistani skipper.
“I think Babar has to become a leader like Virat rather than just being a captain of the team,” Rashid said.
“I think Babar is also on the right path and I felt he had his input in the squad selected for the New Zealand tour. I think Babar because of his exceptional batting talents has the makings of a good leader.
“He may seem meek and an introvert but he is mentally very strong and has game awareness and you can see this in his batting,” Latif said.