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"He tends to be like Muhammad Ali" - Vivian Richards on Babar Azam's style of batting

Sir Vivian Richards. (Credits: Web)
Sir Vivian Richards. (Credits: Web)
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Aayushman Vishwanathan

Quetta Gladiators' mentor Sir Vivian Richards drew a comparison between Babar Azam to the former boxing legend Muhammad Ali. The former West Indian skipper also praised Sarfaraz Ahmed for injecting spirit and energy into the team.

Babar Azam has been one of the brightest white-ball cricketers of late. The right-handed batter is the number one-ranked T20I batter and averages a healthy 45.17 in the format. Pakistan's skipper also finished as the leading run-getter in the 2021 T20 World Cup.

No other player has scored as many runs at their first #T20WorldCup as Babar Azam πŸ™Œ https://t.co/mrdNdHweku

Speaking to Geo News, Sir Vivian Richards said that he feels Azam is amongst the best in the current era and relies on conventional shot-making in T20 cricket. Stating that the right-handed batter dismantles the opposition methodically like Ali, the Antiguan stated:

"Babar is up there with the very best. He is definitely the best who plays conventional shots and shots that you will see normally in Test match cricket, ODI cricket. What I love about Babar is that you don't see what he's doing to you, he doesn't knock you out. He tends to be like Muhammad Ali, when he boxes, he jabs and he hurts you. He is an individual that just has too much time to play, and it's a joy."

The 27-year old skipper of the Karachi Kings is amongst the top five leading run-getters in the PSL 2022. He has accumulated 186 runs so far in four games, averaging a ridiculous 62. Despite that, Inzamam-Ul-Haq lashed out at Azam for failing to lead Karachi to victory in Friday's fixture.

"I've always liked Sarfaraz spirit and the energy that he brings" - Sir Vivian Richards

Sarfaraz Ahmed. (Image Credits: Getty)
Sarfaraz Ahmed. (Image Credits: Getty)

Richards also hailed former Pakistan skipper Sarfaraz Ahmed for putting the team ahead of himself. In this regard, the retired cricketer stated:

"He is someone who is more focused on team’s success than individuals. I've always liked his spirit and the energy that he brings. I've seen him do that on numerous occasions. I spoke to him earlier today to encourage and to let him know that he's still a man who can accomplish anything that he wants to accomplish. Because he is an individual that brings a lot of passion and all the stuff that it needs to for you to be successful."

Ahmed has been one of Pakistan's most influential captains, leading them to the Champions Trophy title in 2017 and keeping them on the top in T20Is for several months. However, the keeper-batter has struggled to regain his place in the side since late 2019.


Edited by Ritwik Kumar
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