Former Zimbabwe captain Andy Flower stated that it is difficult to pick the better batsman between Australian star Steve Smith and Indian skipper Virat Kohli, as both have their unique attributes.
Speaking about Smith, the 52-year-old was surprised by the kind of success the Australian has achieved as a batsman, especially in the longest format of the game.
Steve Smith started playing cricket as a leg-spinner who could bat a bit. However, with time, his batting improved in leaps and bounds and he developed himself into a pure top-order batsman for Australia.
In the 75 Tests that he has played so far, the 31-year-old has scored a staggering 7237 runs at an outstanding average of 61.33, with 26 hundreds to his name.
Smith's amazing consistency in the longest format of the game saw him recently win the ICC Men's Test Cricketer of the Decade award.
“Well, it would be difficult to pick between them. (Steve) Smith has done amazingly well in Test cricket. I have been surprised by how well he’s done. But he’s shown that he can adapt his game and that’s a wonderful quality to be able to adapt and evolve and develop like Smith has done,” Andy Flower said.
"Steve Smith and Virat Kohli are good role models" - Andy Flower
Andy Flower also heaped praise on Virat Kohli and believes the 32-year-old is always hungry to score more runs. He feels this hunger has developed Kohli into one of the finest batsmen of the modern era.
Virat Kohli's consistency across all three formats saw him recently win the ICC Male Cricketer of the Decade award. He has scored heaps of runs in both white-ball and red-ball cricket and has terrorized the opposition bowling attacks.
The 52-year-old also feels both Steve Smith and Virat Kohli are great role models for youngsters. He believes both the superstars have led by example with the bat whenever their team needed them to.
As a result, Flower decided against picking the better batsman between the two.
“(Virat) Kohli is incredibly skillful, hungry (for runs), and likes combat. He likes the battle. And I really admire that in him. I admire his energy which is up all the time. I think they have both (Virat Kohli and Steve Smith) got very good leadership traits. They’re good role models. I know Steve Smith has had a few battles in that area, obviously. But I admire them both and I’m not going to pick one or the other,” Andy Flower asserted.
Virat Kohli headed back to India to attend the birth of his first child after the first Test of the ongoing Border-Gavaskar Trophy.
Despite his absence, Team India bounced back from the stinging loss in the first Test to level the series at 1-1 through an eight-wicket win at the Melbourne Cricket Ground.
The third Test of the four-match series will be played from January 7 at the Sydney Cricket Ground (SCG).
Steve Smith has been going through a rough patch of form, as he has only managed to score 10 runs in the series so far.
With the SCG being his home ground, the Australian team will be hoping that their best batsman returns to form in the third Test.Published 05 Jan 2021, 11:38 IST