Former Australian captain Steve Smith recently spoke highly about Indian cricket team captain Virat Kohli's chasing abilities in white-ball cricket while also appreciating the transformation of the Indian team under his leadership.
Smith provided his response on various queries including the comparisons between him and the Indian captain in the latest episode of Sony Ten Pitstop. The former Australian captain mentioned that he had only positive thoughts about Virat Kohli and appreciated the fighting spirit the Indian captain has instilled in the team.
"I admire Virat Kohli a lot, he is an amazing player. You look at his record now, simply incredible. He has done so much for India in cricket as well. You know the way they play the game now and the sheer passion he has got for Indian cricket," Smith said.
Smith also acknowledged Virat Kohli's work ethic and the efforts the latter has put in to maintain his fitness.
"His willingness to improve and get better. His body sort of transformed over time and he looks so fit and strong now and powerful, he is pretty amazing."
The New South Welshman was particularly in awe of the Indian batting mainstay's ability to handle pressure in limited-over run chases.
"The one thing I admire about him is the way he chases in white-ball cricket. You look at his average in winning chases in ODIs and it is simply phenomenal, so good under pressure, calm and just gets the job more often than not, unfortunately for an opposition," Smith stated.
Virat Kohli has an awesome record in ODI run chases. He has amassed 7039 runs at an impressive average of 68.33, inclusive of 26 centuries.
His record is even more outstanding in successful run chases. In such matches, the chase master has scored 5388 runs at a Bradmanesque average of 96.21. Twenty-two of his 26 centuries while chasing have resulted in Indian wins.
Virat Kohli and Steve Smith's rollercoaster relationship
The two modern-day batting greats have had a rollercoaster relationship in the past. The relationship hit a trough when the Australian captained tried to seek help from the dressing room for a DRS review in the Bangalore test in 2017. While Virat Kohli termed it as blatant cheating, Smith attributed it to a brain-fade.
But things took a positive turn in the 2019 World Cup, when Virat Kohli willed the crowd to applaud Steve Smith rather than jeer the latter for the earlier ball-tampering controversy. His sporting gesture also earned the Indian captain the 2019 Spirit of Cricket Award at the annual ICC awards.Published 02 Jun 2020, 12:17 IST