Virat Kohli vs Steve Smith: Why Jonty Rhodes picked the Indian captain over the Aussie run machine
The debate over who is the greater batsman between Indian captain Virat Kohli and Aussie number three Steve Smith seems to be the million dollar question in cricket at the moment. Currently the statistics stand at Smith with 26 Test hundreds from 68 matches while Kohli with 25 hundreds from 79 Tests.
Smith recently overtook Kohli as number one ICC Test batsman on the back of a sensational run in Ashes 2019, during which he amassed a total of 774 runs from seven innings.In contrast, Kohli managed only two half-centuries in four innings in the two-Test series against West Indies, a weak opposition.
Even so, South African legend Jonty Rhodes has picked Kohli as the better batsman over Smith, giving him additional marks for his technique. As for the former Australian captain, he stated that Smith’s hundreds are the ugliest he has ever seen.
"I enjoy watching Virat Kohli. Steve Smith, with that action and technique, makes the ugliest hundreds I have ever seen but the man just keeps scoring runs," Jonty Rhodes, arguably the best fielder of his era, was quoted as saying by The New Indian Express.
"Someone who likes to watch cricket would want to say 'Wow! What an amazing shot' as opposed to 'Oh! How on earth can he hit that?' So Virat Kohli right now." Rhodes further went on to state, pitching in on the debate that is dividing world cricket.
Smith’s 774 runs in the Ashes came from seven innings, during the course of which he hit three hundreds, which included a double ton. In addition, he narrowly missed out on three more tons -- falling in the 80s twice and once in the 90s.
The 92 came at Lord’s during the course of which he was jolted by a Jofra Archer bouncer, which led to him missing the Headingley Test. It was only in the last innings of the series that Smith was dismissed for a low score - 23. He admitted post the series that there wasn’t much left in the tank.
While the tally of 774 runs saw him outdo his personal best of 769 which came in the 2014-15 Border Gavaskar Trophy against India, Smith could not beat Viv Richards’ record, who smashed 829 runs in four Tests against England in 1976.
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