Former Australian captain Ricky Ponting has finally expressed his views on the greatest batsman in the world at present. It came as a shock when Australia’s leading run-getter regarded Indian skipper Virat Kohli as his favourite pick, contrary to what was expected to be Steve Smith.
Ponting on Smith’s performance in Ashes and past couple of years
The 43-year-old answered in an event, the exact reason as to why he rates Virat Kohli higher than the Steve Smith.
“Right now, Kohli is because Steve Smith is not there, if Steve Smith was playing now, I would have him as the number one player in the World. That’s how high in regard I hold Steve Smith. What he has done the last 3 or 4 years with his game and he’s been able to lead an Australian team to so many wins, the way he has batted,” said the 2-time World Cup-winning captain.
He also added that “The Ashes Summer last year was just some of the best and purest batting as you’re ever going to see. To do it on the big stage in an Ashes series, and to do it on the first day of an Ashes series when it counts the most, says a lot about him.”
Ponting made it pretty clear, as to why he regards Steve Smith as a much better player in the World, despite the Indian skipper’s extraterrestrial level of performance in the ODI and T20 formats of the game.
Virat Kohli or Steve Smith, the greatest test player?
Though Steve Smith remains as one of the most loved cricketers in the longest format of the game, Virat Kohli too enjoys a fantabulous fan following of his own, with his swash-buckling performance in the white ball cricket.
Though Kohli boasts of some mind-boggling statistics in the red ball cricket as well, many cricketers and former legends have found his performance to be a bit of a struggled effort outside the subcontinent region, especially in the bowler-friendly pitches, which offer a certain degree of challenge to the batsmen when in middle.
While for Smith, you just can’t deny how bloody good a player he is when it comes to tests! 3 centuries in the 4 match series during Australia’s tour to India, 215 at Lord’s against the King of Swing James Anderson and his acquaintance Stuart Broad, speak for the finesse and success that he has achieved in the longer format of the game.
Can India fancy their chance for a win down under?
India’s tour down under would have been a perfect place for the epic clash between the two legendary batsmen to take place. With Steve Smith nowhere in the picture for some good 8-9 months, the Indian team has a golden chance to strike the first blood on their tour to Australia.
Still, the fact that they’d be facing the likes of Mitchell Starc, Josh Hazelwood, Pat Cummins, Mitchell Marsh and Nathon Lyon, a series win in the Australian conditions won’t be a walk in the park for the Men in Blue.