‘His batting numbers just speak for themselves’ – Steve Smith showers praise on his batting rival Virat Kohli
Smith was a personal beneficiary of Kohli’s gentlemanship during the India-Australia clash at the ICC World Cup last year and the former still remembers the episode.
Published - Jan 22, 2020 6:06 pm | Updated - Jan 22, 2020 6:06 pm
Steve Smith is often compared to India captain Virat Kohli in the debate over the modern-day batting greats. Even after having served a one-year ban following the sandpapergate scandal, Smith has regained form and showed his class in the just-concluded ODI series against India we well. He is looking forward to having a great Indian Premier League this year and make use of the experience in the T20 World Cup at home later this year. And yet amid going for the heights, the 30-year-old has not forgotten to salute the greatness of his batting rival Kohli.
In a recent interview, Smith showered praise on the ace Indian batsman without any doubt, saying the latter is a “terrific player in all three formats”. Smith has a close competition with Kohli in the ICC’s Test rankings but in the limited-over formats, the Indian is far ahead of him.
“Virat Kohli is terrific”: Steve Smith
“Yeah, he is terrific. His batting numbers just speak for themselves. I think he’s an incredible player in all three formats and I think we will see him break many records. He’s already broken plenty of them and I see him breaking many more over the years. He has got the hunger for runs and doesn’t stop getting them. Hopefully, he can stop getting them against Australia, that’ll be nice,” Smith was quoted as saying by The Times of India.
As a captain, too, Kohli earned respect from Smith. He said the Indian captain has already made his team the No.1 Test side in the world. He praised Kohli’s awareness about fitness and called him an exceptional leader.
In the long format, Smith is currently ranked second, trailing only Kohli. In the ODIs, too, Kohli is No.1 but Smith is at No.23 despite his recent 98 and 131 against India. In T20Is, Kohli is at No.9 but Smith is as below as in No.76.
Smith was a personal beneficiary of Kohli’s gentlemanship during the India-Australia clash at the ICC World Cup last year and the former still remembers the episode. On that occasion, Kohli had stepped in to hit back at the Indian fans who booed Smith for his Sandpapergate act and asked them to back him.
“In the World Cup it was really nice of Virat to do what he did. He did not have to do that and yeah it was a lovely gesture and really appreciated that,” Smith said. Kohli was honoured with the ICC Spirit of Cricket Award 2019 for his gesture.
Watch: Irfan Pathan’s interview post his retirement