Pakistan star batsman Babar Azam has underplayed his constant comparison with worlds number one Test and ODI batsman – Virat Kohli. After scoring a sensational ton against Sri Lanka during the first Test at Rawalpindi, Babar added another leaf to his burgeoning reputation as one of the world’s top upcoming batsmen.

Ranked number one in T20Is, the 25-year-old Babar wants to achieve the ‘legend’ status that Kohli has acquired across the world but concedes that despite the oft-repeated comparisons, he is still some time away from getting anywhere close to the Indian captain.

A self-confessed Kohli fan, Babar spoke about his aspirations to emulate the world’s No.1 Test and ODI batsman told PTI in an interview. “Look he (Kohli) has already achieved a lot. He is a legend in his country. Honestly there is no comparison with me right now but eventually, I also want to get where he is today,” Azam said.

“The media and people have drawn comparisons between me and Virat Kohli but I realise that I still need to get more runs in red-ball cricket to be ranked among the top players. That is why in recent months I have been focusing a lot on getting consistent scores in Test matches,” he added.

Babar scored his second Test hundred in the last three games on Sunday in a weather-hit encounter versus Sri Lanka at Rawalpindi. He said he wanted to be a batsman who, like Kohli, could win more matches for his team.

“I don’t feel any pressure if anyone compares me with Kohli or (Steve) Smith. I am now more focused on my batting and I spend hours watching videos of my innings. I catch my mistakes and then I try to ensure I don’t commit them again the next time,” he said.

Babar, who came of age in Australia with a Test hundred at Brisbane and 97 in the day-night Test at Adelaide, said the traditional format remains the most difficult.

“When I got out cheaply to a bad shot in the first innings at Brisbane, I was very cross with myself because I realised no top batman should get out like that. In the following innings I made it a point to be patient and build my innings although playing strokes comes naturally to me,” he explained.

“Someday I am looking at a triple century. You need to set yourself goals as all top players do. I have set myself the target of becoming consistent in test cricket as well.”

Babar said returning to play Test cricket in Pakistan was an ambition fulfilled for him.

“We have played T20 and ODI matches in Pakistan but playing a Test is a totally different experience. Scoring a century in front of my home crowd was the icing on the cake for me,” he said.

The Lahore-born batsman, who has a batting average of 50 in T20 internationals and 54 in ODIs, has improved his batting average to 39 in Tests.

“…I was not sure about myself. But things improved with time. Now I am relishing the challenge of playing red-ball cricket. I have learnt the virtues of patience. White ball cricket, I think, comes more naturally for me,” he signed off.