LAHORE-Former Pakistan captain Rashid Latif believes that national T20I captain Babar Azam is capable crossing 10,000-run-benchmark after the legendary Younis Khan.

Younis became the first Pakistani and 13th ever batsman to score 10,000 runs in Test cricket on April 23, 2017, whereas Babar currently stands at 1,850 runs in 26 Tests. “For me, Babar Azam is a player, who has potential to score 10,000 runs after the batting great Younis Khan. Although we have Test captain Azhar Ali and Asad Shafiq yet both don’t have enough time to play and reach the 10,000 run-mark,” said Latif in a video while talking to Dr Nauman Niaz on his YouTube channel.

Talking about Babar’s statement regarding comparing him with Pakistani greats like Javed Miandad, Muhammad Yousuf and Younis Khan, rather than Virat Kohli, the former captain said that comparison was always done with current players like Steve Smith, Kane Williamson, Joe Root, Rohit Sharma, Virat Kohli, etc. “Nobody compared Babar with Sunil Gavaskar or Sachin Tendulkar as everyone does comparison with the current players.

“Babar is among world’s top ranked players whether it’s Twenty20, ODI or Test cricket so once he reaches the level of Javed Miandad, Zaheer Abbas, Inzamam-ul-Haq and Younis Khan, he will surely be compared with them. But for this, he needs to be consistent and perform exceptionally against all the opponents,” he asserted.

The wicketkeeper batsman said that it feels like Babar was told to take the names of former Pakistani greats as to create diversion. “It is good that when Babar takes the name of our former greats. But during the current situation, when the national team will be playing in England, the press will keep on asking such questions comparing him with Kohli” he said.

Replying to a query, Latif said that Umar Akmal and Ahmed Shehzad were wrongly compared with Kohli. “Babar is a deserving player and has the same class to be compared with Kohli. Umar is a good player but he can’t be compared to the Indian skipper. Babar has performed everywhere in the world while Younis has also performed throughout the world,” he said.

To another query, the former skipper said that Zaheer Abbas was a wristy-player and scored two double centuries against England on the tour. “Zaheer Abbas made his Test debut in 1969 and in his second Test, he scored 274 against England, still the sixth-ever highest score by a Pakistani batsman. This was the first of his four Test double-centuries, only two men from Pakistan (Younis Khan and Javed Miandad) have scored more,” Latif added.