Australia’s legendary leg-spinner Shane Warne called former West Indies captain Sir Viv Richards as the best batsman he has ever seen on a cricket pitch. At the same time, Warne heaped rich praise on India captain Virat Kohli, saying the is among the greatest to have played the game of cricket. He feels Kohli is ‘pushing that conversation’ and taking the legacy forward of legendary batters. Also Read - Dinesh Karthik Talks About Training Schedule Post COVID-19 Break, Says Need Minimum 4 Weeks to Achieve Match Fitness
The 50-year-old also said Sachin Tendulkar and Brian Lara are the two best batsmen during his playing days. “Viv is the best batsman I have ever seen. Sachin (Tendulkar) and (Brian) Lara are the two best batters I have played with and now across all formats Virat is just the best. It is tough to think anyone is better than Viv but Virat is pushing that conversation,” Warne said in an Instagram live where he picked the best Australian ODI side, World ODI XI and Indian Premier League (IPL) team in the four years he has been a part of the cash-rich league. Also Read - Delhi Capitals' Pacer Kagiso Rabada Rues IPL Postponement, Clears Air Around His On-field Aggression
Warne also opined that Steve Smith should not be burdened with the captaincy role again and should just be allowed to bat the way he does without any added pressure. Also Read - England Captain Joe Root in Doubt For First Test vs West Indies Due to ECB's COVID-19 Self-isolation Rule
Smith made a sensational comeback after serving a one-year ban due to ball-tampering as the former skipper played a pivotal role in Australia retaining the Ashes.
“If Tim Paine can make runs, he should continue as captain. I want Smith to bat as much as he can with no more distractions,” Warne said.
“Paine has to make runs. I feel Steve should be allowed to bat till the rest of his career, not other distractions.”
Warne also picked Smith, Kohli and New Zealand skipper Kane Williamson as the top three batters at the moment, adding Smith is his favourite current Australian batsman.
“Steve Smith…tough to go past him he is my favourite at the moment. What mental toughness, love watching David Warner too. Top three would be Smith, Kohli and Kane Williamson.”
Warne also said he is open to coaching Australia in the future if they ask him to. “Maybe one day down the line. I don’t think they will ever ask me but maybe one day who knows,” Warne said.
Warne, regarded as the best leg-spinner the game has ever seen, is the mentor of Rajasthan Royals, a team he led to the first-ever IPL title in 2008.
“Would also love to coach an IPL team down the line but at the moment I am happy mentoring Royals. I am never saying no to anything.”
Warne further picked Mark Taylor as the best captain he has played under.
Australia XI: Mark Waugh, Adam Gilchrist, Ricky Ponting, Dean Jones, Allan Border, Micheal Clarke, Michael Bevan, Andrew Symonds, Brett Lee, Craig McDermott, Glenn McGrath
Rest of the World ODI XI: Virender Sehwag, Sanath Jayasuriya, Sachin Tendulkar, Brian Kara, Kevin Pietersen, Kumar Sangakkara, Andrew Flintoff, Wasim Akram, Daniel Vettori, Shoaib Akhtar, Curtly Ambrose.
IPL India XI: Rohit Sharma, Virender Sehwag, Virat Kohli, Yuvraj Singh, Yusuf Pathan, MS Dhoni, Ravindra Jadeja, Harbhajan Singh, Zaheer Khan, Siddharth Trivedi, Munaf Patel.