479 runs in three Test matches in the ongoing Ashes series at an astounding average of 159.66 is how former Australia skipper Steve Smith has announced his return to the Test arena after serving a one year ban for the Sandpaper Gate fiasco. While he hit a double on Thursday, he had already taken back the No.1 Test batsman’s slot from India skipper Virat Kohli. But the debate on who between Kohli and Smith is currently the best batsman in world cricket refuses to die down. (Full scorecard of England vs Australia 4th Test)
Speaking to IANS, legendary Australia leg-spinner Shane Warne has said that if he had to pick one for Tests, Smith would have a slight advantage over his otherwise favourite Kohli. Warne feels across formats though Kohli takes the cake.
“As far as Test cricket goes, I would probably say it is a really tough one between Virat and Smith. But I think if I had to pick one batsman in Test cricket, it would be Smith, but if I lost that and had Virat, I would still be happy because he is a legend,” he pointed.
“I think Virat is the best batsman in the world. I think if I had to pick one batsman across all formats, it would have to be Virat. Viv Richards was the greatest batsman I saw in ODI cricket and in all cricket probably. But Virat is now the greatest ODI player that we have seen. He overtakes Viv for me.”
Warne feels that Kohli has the attitude needed to go out and succeed against the best bowlers in the game. “I think he will break all records and I am a big fan of how he goes about his job and I have said that publicly as well. I think Virat in all forms of the game is the best batsman in the world,” he said.
While Kohli’s achievements as a batsman are well documented, the captain has often been criticised. But Warne begs to differ and feels that the Indian skipper is learning the tricks of the trade and getting better with each passing day.
“I think he is a wonderful leader. You are never the best version of yourself when you first start as captain and it generally takes a bit of time. I think he is growing into the role. I think maybe he was a little bit too emotional when he took over, but I love his passion and I think he is starting to get the balance between emotion, passion and being calm. I think he is also getting better tactically,” he explained.
Warne also wants to thank the run-machine for standing by the longest format of the game and giving it the due importance in the age of slam-bang T20 cricket.
“All of us old fellows who love Test cricket, we owe him a big thank you for saying that Test cricket is the most important form of the game. When you have the biggest superstar of world cricket saying that, it is good for us old guys, who love Test cricket,” he signed off.
First Published: Sep 06, 2019 11:45 IST