‘Consistent, stable’ Babar Azam is the opposite of Virat Kohli: Matthew Hayden

Babar is not overly flamboyant, said Hayden

‘Consistent, stable’ Babar Azam is the opposite of Virat Kohli: Matthew Hayden PHOTO COURTESY: ICC

Australian legend and current batting consultant of Pakistan cricket team Matthew Hayden has opened up about Babar Azam and his comparisons drawn with the Indian batter Virat Kohli.

Hayden shared his thoughts during a virtual press conference on Wednesday.

“Babar and his personality is, as you see is what you get,” Hayden said. “He is very consistent. He is very stable. He is not overly flamboyant.”

Hayden, who represented Australia for over 16 years as an opening batter, claimed that Babar Azam is perhaps the opposite of his counterpart Virat Kohli.

“In fact, I would go as far as to say he is almost the opposite personality to someone like Virat Kohli, who is very animated, very passionate, and very boisterous on the field,” he added.

Speaking about Babar's traits as a batter, Hayden said, “He has great control and a wonderful temperament. Just to give you an insight into that talent, his ability to be able to consistently be able to react to the ball is second to none from what I’ve seen.”

“He picks up the line and the length of the ball quicker than the average cricketer that is going around. That is the mark of someone that is a very fine player,” he further added.

Hayden claimed that Babar's ability to remain consistent is primarily down to his reaction time and how quickly he picks up on things.

“His reaction time, his ability to play a consistent version of his best self means he doesn’t have to have all the innovations, he doesn’t have to be striking with any increase or decrease in his temperament. He can remain neutral,” he said.

“When he gets into the middle stages of the match he also has the ability, through just natural cricket shots, to find his natural tempo, which is a strike-rate of 140-150, and beyond,” Hayden added.

Semi-final Clash Against Australia

Speaking about the semifinal clash, the former opening batter said that it will be “a challenge of the heart and challenge of the mind”. 

“It is a very unusual feeling [to be on the other side]. But it does give me the benefit of having wonderful insights, not only into these players but also into the culture of cricket in Australia,” he added.

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Hayden praised the players for doing a fantastic job thus far and claims that he is delighted to be part of such a team.

“I also say very proudly it has been wonderful to be part of Pakistan cricket. We have some incredible young players, mixed with experienced players, in our lineup. They and the team are performing admirably,” he concluded.