Former Australian cricketer Brad Hogg on Sunday opined that the competition between Pakistan's Babar Azam and England's veteran pacer Stuart Broad will be the defining contest of the impending Test series that begins on August 5 at the Old Trafford Cricket ground in Manchester.
Hogg's reply came after a fan asked him" @Brad_Hogg sir which one player from both teams will you focus on most in pak and eng series?" on Twitter.
He immediately replied saying, "Broad v Babar Azam will be the defining contest. #ENGvPAK #Cricket #askhoggy"
Broad was the Man of the Series for England in their recent Test series against West Indies where he took a match-winning ten-wicket haul in the third Test en route to his 500th career Test wicket. Broad was dropped from the opener in Southampton, which he admitted had even led to retirement contemplation. But the veteran bounced back in style to take 16 wickets in the remaining two Tests to emerge as the highest wicket-taker in the series.
Babar, on the other hand, has shown a steady increase ins his performance over the last few years. He, in fact, has the highest Test batting average since 2018 (minimum 5 innings) - 65.47 en route to scoring 1375 runs in 15 matches with five centuries and nine fifties. He is also the sixth-ranked batsman in ICC rankings.
The two have faced each other in Pakistan's 2018 tour of England with Babar managing six runs in 19 deliveries against Broad with no dismissal.
The second Test will begin in Manchester on August 13 and the final tie will be played in Southampton starting August 21.