"You compare him with Virat Kohli and he is not even close" - Nayan Mongia on Babar Azam heading into India vs Pakistan 2024 T20 World Cup clash

New Zealand v Pakistan - Men
Babar Azam is one of the mainstays of the Pakistan batting lineup.

Nayan Mongia reckons Babar Azam doesn't merit a comparison with Virat Kohli and is not even close to the former Indian skipper. He also noted that the Pakistan captain will be under immense pressure in their 2024 T20 World Cup clash against India.

The two subcontinental arch-rivals will square off in a Group A game in New York on Sunday, June 9. While India registered a convincing eight-wicket win in their tournament opener against Ireland at the same venue on June 5, Pakistan were stunned by the United States of America in a Super Over a day later in Dallas in their first game.

During a discussion on Star Sports, Mongia noted that Babar hasn't been at his best lately and opined that he is incorrectly compared with Kohli.

"His batting has been stumbling for the last few years. He is looking out of form. He is putting too much pressure on himself, that he has to stay there and make a big score for the team. If he takes pressure like this and the team doesn't support him in batting and fielding, mental pressure definitely comes on every batter," he said.
"Pressure has been put on him that he is the best batter and has to stay there and score big. You compare him with Virat Kohli and he is not even close to Virat Kohli. So the pressure is on Babar Azam and the Pakistan team that till he fires, everything is fine, but if he gets out, Pakistan's batting collapses," the former India wicketkeeper added.

Babar scored a 43-ball 44 in Pakistan's loss to the United States. Many experts believe his slow knock played a huge role in the Men in Green posting a below-par total.


"I always believe that Pakistan's skill-set is very less for such wickets" - Nayan Mongia

Pakistan will rely on Babar Azam and Mohammad Rizwan to give them a good start.
Pakistan will rely on Babar Azam and Mohammad Rizwan to give them a good start.

Nayan Mongia also claimed that the Pakistan batters lack the skills to perform on seamer-friendly pitches like the one in New York.

"Fast bowlers have taken wickets here and spinners have taken wickets in the West Indies. So the fast bowlers will be on top here. You will need skills as a batter here. If you compare Pakistan and India, the Indian batters have more skill. I always believe that Pakistan's skill-set is very less for such wickets," he said.

While observing that the Indian batters are more skilful, the cricketer-turned-commentator added that they too will have to play a little circumspectly.

"So I don't have much expectations from Pakistan's batting. India's batting has good skill sets and they can build a good innings and post a good score. However, they will have to play a little cautiously on this wicket. You cannot hit sixes and fours here continuously. You will also need sound defense here," Mongia stated.

India have an advantage over Pakistan as they have played two games in New York, including the warm-up match against Bangladesh. Although Virat Kohli was dismissed cheaply against Ireland, Rohit Sharma and Rishabh Pant being among the runs should hold them in good stead.

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