He can be as good as Bradman: Brett Lee picks between Virat Kohli and Steve Smith
One of the favourite pastimes of sports writers and pundits is to compare greats. They could be from different eras or contemporaries plying their trade at the same time and often competing against each other.
In cricket, comparing batting greats is a favourite topic of discussion. Especially if there are some generational talents on display. In the 90s and 2000s people debated about the greatness of Sachin Tendulkar, Brian Lara and later Ricky Ponting.
In this generation the fight for the top batsman is between Virat Kohli and Steve Smith. It started out as a fab four with England Joe Root and New Zealand’s Kane Williamson also in the mix. But Kohli and Smith, by the sheer dint of their talent, have gone ahead of the pack.
While Smith reigns supreme in Test cricket, Kohli is a run machine in limited overs cricket and has lifted his game several notches in Test cricket as well. Former Australian paceman Brett Lee was put on the spot by former Zimbabwe international Pommie Mbangwa, as the two discussed all things cricket during an Instagram live chat.
Lee at first tried to stay away from picking one between the two but on Mbangwa’s insistence, went with his former Australian teammate.
“They are two different players. Kohli is technically sound, he hits through the V, he used to knick off earlier in his career, but he has tightened up the area outside the off stump, doesn’t knick off as much now.
“He is disciplined and super fit... a great leader of his side. Smith, obviously what he has been through in the last couple of years, he has seen a rise with the way he played in the last 12 months. He is also a different batsman. He is very flamboyant, does 22 touches before he faces up.
“At the moment, I would pick Smith over Kohli because of what he has been through and what he has to overcome,” Lee told Mbangwa.
“I might go with Kohli tomorrow as it depends on the mood. They are two great players and hard to split.
“I think Smith can be as good as Don Bradman, there have been talks of him becoming just like Bradman looking at the number,” the former express paceman opined.
With 7227 runs in 73 matches, Steve Smith averages a whopping 62.84 in Test cricket. He has 26 centuries to his name already. He though isn’t that big a force in ODIs, having scored 4162 runs in 125 matches at an average of 42.46.
Virat Kohli on the other hand averages a whopping 59.33 in ODIs with 11867 runs in 248 matches with 43 centuries to his name. He also has 7240 runs to his credit in 86 Test matches at an average of 53.62.