India vs Australia - Virat Kohli vs Steve Smith (Who will win the battle this time?)
India take on Australia in a three-match ODI series after they finish their bout with the Sri Lankans. The Men in Blue locking horns against the Men in Yellow always has a lot of emotions attached to it due to the quality of these two teams.
The limelight, however, will mostly be on the two best batsmen in the game right now: Virat Kohli and Steven Smith. The Indian captain and the former Australia captain are often regarded as equals of the sport.
While Kohli is the better player in the limited-overs format, Smith has asserted his dominance in the longest format of the game time and time again. Since they are going to play in the 50-over format, we are going to keep this analysis strictly within the boundaries of the ODI format.
For starters, Smith has taken part in 118 ODI matches and has been able to score 3810 runs at an average of over 41. His strike-rate is also over 86, which means that he scores at a decent rate.
Virat Kohli’s numbers, meanwhile, are on another level entirely. He has played 242 ODI matches in his career and has scored an astonishing 11609 runs at an average of nearly 60 and a strike-rate of 93.28.
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With respect to these numbers, we can conclude that Kohli is going to have a better series than the former Aussie captain. However, for the sake of better understanding, some more stats need to be involved.
In India, Smith has batted on seven occasions and has scored only 170 runs at an average of 28.33. Kohli, meanwhile, has an average of over 60 at home and has 4682 runs from 89 innings.
While it is always expected for a player to be better at home, the Indian captain just knocks the ball out of the park – both literally and figuratively.
In 2019, Kohli played 26 matches and amassed 1377 runs at an average of almost 60 which speaks volumes of his consistency while Smith only played 10 matches and scored 379 runs at an average of 37.90.
It is safe to say that Kohli is not only far ahead of Smith in ODIs in terms of ability, but is also in better form than the former Aussie captain. When the two sides take on each other for the first ODI, we can expect both these batsmen to be on fire as they have a great record against each other.
Indeed, Kohli has played 37 matches against the Aussies and has scored 1727 runs at an average of almost 54 and a strike-rate of over 96. Meanwhile, Smith has scored 678 runs from 13 innings at a strike-rate of 98.26 and an average of over 52 and will be keen on making an impact in this tour.
This goes to show that both Kohli and Smith love facing each other in ODIs and while both of them could entertain the fans with their strokeplay, looking at other stats, it would be safe to conclude that Kohli might end up as the better player at the end of the series.
Who do you think will win the battle this time around? Log on to 10CRIC now and predict your winning team, get a joining bonus of up to INR 10,000Published 09 Jan 2020, 13:15 IST