Babar Azam vs Virat Kohli. It's a debate that is never-ending. Both are stars for their respective countries, modern masters, and undoubtedly among the best cricket has ever seen. But since it's India and Pakistan we are talking about, the debate, arguments, and rebuttals reach a whole different level.
If we compare the current form, Babar Azam is way ahead of Kohli, who has just been a pale shadow of himself for some time now. Babar has been in the form of his life, stacking up centuries and half-centuries for fun, and has definitely taken his game to new heights.
He has the brass ring and is taking it to places it has never been. But, that is not how comparisons work. If you have been following the game of cricket for even a short while, you would have heard the phrase - form is temporary, class is permanent.
Every cricketer has a purple patch, where he butchers the bowling attacks and makes runs like there's no tomorrow. But, the true measure of a cricketer is how long he keeps going. Babar has been on the top for a while now. If he can keep going the way he is, he will end up being an unarguable legend of the game.
Virat, on the other hand, has been there, and done that. He did it for around a decade and is now facing a sudden slump. Yes, it's bad, not like anything we ever imagined, but for someone so good for almost a decade, the world can spare him any advice or suggestions.
Let's take into consideration the numbers after the 2019 ODI World Cup. In 23 ODI's that Virat has played, he has amassed 1025 runs at an average of 46.60. During this time, he scored two hundreds and 10 fifties. These are good numbers for someone who has mostly been out of form.
Babar, on the other hand, scored 1229 runs in 17 matches at an average of 81.93, with seven centuries and four half-centuries to his name. Now, these numbers are not good, they are insane. Absolutely brilliant. If we go by the T20 numbers for the past few years, Babar Azam is ahead in that regard too. In 2021 alone, Babar had 939 runs in T20Is vs Kohli's total of 299.
The debate, as of now, is a great way to strike up conversations or have a fun banter, but the fact of the matter is we are comparing two players at opposite ends of their respective careers. And that is precisely why it's too early to say who's better. Right now, we should just consider ourselves lucky enough to witness two greats of the game go at it in the same generation.