Stating his verdict loud and clear over who is a better batsman between India captain Virat Kohli and Australia’s talisman Steve Smith, former England captain Michael Vaughan has picked the former as the “best all-round” batsman irrespective of the format. Also Read - IND vs ENG: Motera Pitch Likely to Escape ICC Ban as 4th Test Strip Promises to be Batting Beauty
The long-time debate over who is better between Kohli and Smith was once again brought up by social media enthusiasts after Smith slammed 131 off 132 balls in the third and series-deciding ODI against India in Bengaluru on Sunday. Also Read - Virat Kohli is Looking After Groundsmen to a Certain Degree: Andrew Strauss Slams Indian Captain For Defending Motera Pitch
Australia lost the match and the series 1-2 after Kohli’s effervescent 89 and Rohit Sharma’s brilliant 119 helped India to gun down the 287-run target with seven wickets in hand and 15 balls to spare. Also Read - Irfan Pathan Writes Heart-Warming Letter For Recently-Retired Brother Yusuf Pathan, Calls Him Champion Player And Source of Inspiration For Many
Replying to a tweet which said former Aussie skipper Smith is the finest all-format batsman, Vaughan said: “Disagree … Virat is the best all-round … !!”
Smith has made a sensational comeback after his one-year ban from the game due to his role in the ball-tampering saga by scoring truckloads of runs across all formats. Kohli, meanwhile, has continued to pile on runs as well as he maintained his position at the top of the ICC ODI player rankings with 886 points.
With 183 runs in 3 matches, the 31-year-old Kohli bagged the ‘player of the series’ award in the recently-concluded ODI series.
While pundits have spoken highly about Smith’s ninth ODI century, former Pakistan skipper Rashid Latif has called it a failure on the part of the former captain to accelerate and give the visitors a top gear finish in the death overs.
In fact, Latif also credited Mohammed Shami and Jasprit Bumrah for keeping things tight in the last 10 overs of the Australia innings as they picked up wickets to peg back the visitors.
“One has to give credit to Mohammed Shami and Jasprit Bumrah for their efforts in the death overs. 80 balls for 80 chalte hain, but when you score 131, you need to do it in 100 or 105 balls. Smith’s inability to accelerate and his slow partnership forced Australia to promote Mitchell Starc as a pinch hitter,” Rashid Latif said on his YouTube channel.