Former Australia cricketer Matthew Hayden named Pakistani captain Babar Azam among the modern-day great batters.
During a Tv conversation before the ICC World Test Championship final between India and Australia, Hayden said Babar is one of the modern-day greats.
"In a big game, it's runs on the board always important. Steve Smith is a maestro for that," Hayden replied when he was asked about the strengths of Australia for the final clash.
"If you think about modern-day greats, Smith, Kohli, Babar Azam are once in a lifetime and might be this generation cricketers," he praised.
It must be noted here that Hayden worked with Pakistan team as batting mentor twice during T20 World Cups. In 2021, he was appointed batting mentor and Pakistan played semi-final against Australia.
Later on in 2022, he was once again roped in as the batting mentor and Pakistan played the final against England.
The explosive batter of his time often praised Babar for his batting skills during his stint with the green shirts.
Travis Head and Steve Smith showed nerves of steel as they helped Australia fight out against India on day one of the ICC World Test Championship (WTC) final at The Oval.
At stumps, Australia were 327-3 in 85 overs.
After deciding to field first, Indian bowlers dominated the first session, reducing the Aussies to 73-2 before Lunch.
Mohammad Siraj started the proceedings for India, who were playing WTC final for the second time in a row, by bagging Usman Khawaja in the fourth over of the first innings.
Khawaja tried to pull the ball on leg side but edged it behind the stumps Srikar Bharat taking a wonderful catch while diving on his right. The left-handed opener departed for naught after playing 10 balls.
David Warner, who hinted at possible Test retirement two days ago, managed to score 43 including eight boundaries. He was removed by Shardul Thakur.
Marnus Labuschagne and Steve Smith fought in last moments of the first session.
On their return, India once again struck quickly, this time it was experienced Mohammad Shami. The right-arm pacer deceived Labuschagne and provided a priced breakthrough to India.
Later on, Head and Smith continued with solid momentum-building partnership. The two batters showed patience and scored worthy runs for Australia.