Can Babar Beat Kohli to 12,000 ODI Runs Mark? [Analysis]

Indian captain, Virat Kohli, created history when he became the fastest player to cross 12,000 ODI runs, surpassing fellow Indian, Sachin Tendulkar. Kohli achieved the feat in only 242 innings, whereas Tendulkar took 300 innings to get to 12,000 ODI runs. Kohli crossed the landmark by scoring 63 runs against Australia in the third ODI.


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The question arises, whether Babar can ever get to the 12,000 runs mark? Well, it depends on a number of factors. First thing first, Babar will never get to play as many matches as Kohli considering India is always a favored team for the ICC meaning that they get way more matches than other Asian sides, or let’s say New Zealand and South Africa.

Kohli has undoubtedly been the best ODI batsman in the past decade, scoring 43 centuries since his debut in 2008. He is just six centuries behind Tendulkar’s record of 49 ODI centuries and at 32 years of age, he still has enough time to claim that record as well.

While Kohli has been doing this for the best part of his 12-year career, Pakistan captain, Babar Azam, is still learning the craft. At just 26 years of age, Babar is taking the cricketing world by storm and if he stays fit, he will surely break the majority of Pakistan’s batting records.

Babar and Kohli have been compared for well over two years now, but there are a number of factors to consider when comparing these batting stars. The age difference is a huge factor and Kohli is six years older than Babar. Babar has only played 77 matches in his short career, while Kohli just represented India in his 250th ODI.

While Kohli was playing with the likes of Sachin Tendulkar, MS Dhoni, and Yuvraj Singh, Babar had to learn from Mohammad Hafeez, Shoaib Malik, and Azhar Ali, who are exceptional cricketers but can’t be compared with their Indian counterparts.


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Here are their numbers after the first 77 ODIs. Note that Babar has played 77 matches as of yet.

First 77 matches

Player Matches Runs Average Hundreds
Virat Kohli 77 2,986 46.54 8
Babar Azam 77 3,580 55.93 12

Babar has played 77 matches at the age of 26 years and 48 days (his age at the time of this feature), While Kohli had already played 146 matches, given that the Indian skipper did start his career a year early than Babar. Below is the  comparison at the same age:

At the Age of 26 Years and 48 Days

Player Matches Runs Average Hundreds
Virat Kohli 146 6,208 52.61 21
Babar Azam 77 3,580 55.93 12

Consistency is key for Babar Azam. The added pressure of captaincy on the young shoulders will really test his mettle, but as proven by statistics, if he manages to stay fit and healthy and continue his glorious form, Babar can become the first Pakistani to cross the 12,000 ODI runs mark.

It is too early to say whether Babar can beat Kohli in terms of the runs, however, it sure is an exciting rivalry that keeps everyone on their toes.


  • Pic dekh k to nai lagta k Babar jaldi thanda honay wala hay……. he will surely feast…by overtaking beast with his beat …….

  • No doubt Kohli is a good player but Baber have so much potential and nothing is impossible that I believe I think he can

  • In Sha Allah Babar will become the 1st Pakistani batsman to break this record. I hope he will continue his unbeatable form and will give Kholi hard time in batting.

  • I am sure Baber has lot of potential and if he stays fit and in form he may achieve this milestone, however we must not forget that Kohli by the time Baber reach 12,000 mark Kohli will give him more difficult target to cross his aggregate in ODIs. Given the fact that Kohli is probably the best batsman besides Smith together with the fact that we get less number of matches compared with India, the challenge for Baber is too big to achieve. I certainly not doubting Baber’s abilities but in reality the proposition seems difficult. I am surprised at the comment suggesting that Baber being Muslim will have ALLAH’s support.

  • First of all to those who are dragging the Almighty into this, please stop. I am sure that the Almighty didn’t reveal his intentions to favor Babar Azam over Virat Kohli in private to you guys. Now Both Virat and Babar are naturally talented, the one who will work hard and stay honest with his profession will surely remain the best.

  • May the best man win !
    As for devine intervention, just remember some world cup matches ! God, has nothing to do with it. I’m sure he has better things to do, than fix cricket matches !!!

  • Anyways this comparison is bad.Though Babar is good enough compared to Virat at that stage,the oppositions that they played matter.Virat,when he was at 25,scored a century off 52 balls against Australia and had become the fastest Indian batsman to do so.Babar has played most of the matches against weak teams like Bangladesh,Sri Lanka, Afghanisthan and Zimbabwe.So take all these factors.Thank you.Stay blessed Babar and Virat

  • One ignorant guy says that Allah is on the side of Babar and hence he would score 12k runs but that guy has forgotten the fact that Virat has already scored 12K runs in least number of matches.

  • Key things is that, behaviour of Icc towards India and rest of world. There is no doubt in talent, but I am in doubt that Babur will be given as much matches as kohli got.


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