Shivani Shukla ∙ May 24 2023, 12:30 PM | 2 Min Read

Babar Azam or Virat Kohli - Who Masters the Cover Drive? Rashid Khan Answers

image-li0gys1bVirat Kohli playing cover drive | Source: Twitter

Virat Kohli and Babar Azam are widely regarded as two of the most exceptional all-format players in the world cricket currently. While Kohli's competence in this role spans over a decade, the Pakistan captain’s rise to prominence has been inspiring in the last few years.

However, the debate surrounding these two players seems never-ending, as cricket fans around the world and experts constantly draw parallels between their gameplay. From their elegant cover drives to their masterful shot-making, the similarities between them serve as a basis for all the discussions. 

The Afghanistan star spinner, Rashid Khan, who is once again making headlines with his exceptional bowling in IPL 2023, is the latest addition to this discussion. 

On being asked who plays the best cover drive in the world, Rashid Khan promptly named Virat Kohli as the undisputed master of that shot. Here’s what Rashid Khan said in a video posted by ESPNCricinfo: 

I think Virat Kohli plays that shot [cover-drive] better than anyone in the world. His cover-drive looks good and sounds good.” 

However, when questioned about whether Babar Azam comes near Kohli in terms of executing the best cover drive, Rashid acknowledged that Babar's skills come remarkably close, while highlighting that Kane Williamson's cover drive should not be overlooked as well.

“Yes, definitely, Babar is very close [second]. It is tough competition between Babar and Virat and also Kane Williamson.” 

Additionally, on being asked about the player who excels in playing the sweep shot, Rashid promptly mentioned Younis Khan, the iconic Pakistan batter, as the ultimate standout. Here’s what he conceded: 

“Younis Khan is someone who played the sweep shot better than anybody else. I learn by watching his YouTube videos and observing him play the sweep shot.”

Gujarat Titans owe much of their success this season to the outstanding contributions of Rashid Khan, who has picked up 25 wickets in 15 matches so far in the tournament. The defending champions finished the league stage at the top of the IPL 2023 points table with 10 wins from 14 matches.