I’d take him both as captain & batsman: Ian Chappell chooses between Virat Kohli and Steve Smith
Whether it’s the ideal thing or not, is a different discussion but comparisons and cricket go hand-in-hand. Be it across generations or with peers, top cricketers around the world cannot run away from being compared with another. If it was Sachin Tendulkar and Brian Lara in the 90s and early 2000s, it is Virat Kohli vs Steve Smith currently. The desire to choose the best batsman of the world has put almost every noted cricketer – current or former – on the hot-seat. The latest to be put on the spot was former Australia captain Ian Chappell.
Known for calling spade a spade, Chappell stayed true to his nature and had no hesitation in choosing better Virat Kohli and Steve Smith. Chappell, in fact, went a step further and also named the better captain between the two apart from naming the better batsman.
When asked to pick between Kohli and Smith in a rapid-fire by Raunak Kapoor, Chappell first asked, “As captain or batsman?” To which Kapoor said, “You tell me.” Chappell then said: “I’d take Kohli both ways, as captain and batsman.”
The India captain currently averages over 50 in all three formats of the game and already has 70 international hundreds – 43 in ODIs and 27 in Tests. He features in the top 10 of ICC rankings for batsmen in all three formats while hogging the No.1 spot in ODIs.
Smith, on the other hand, has made a staggering return to cricket after being banned for 12 months. He is the No.1-ranked Test batsman currently.
Chappell for his part also commented on the ideal way of choosing a Test captain. He said that the Australian way of picking the best XI and then appointing someone the leader of the side is the best way. Chappell said England sometimes chose Test captains who weren’t even guaranteed a spot in the XI.
The legendary cricketer, who played in 75 Tests and 16 ODIs and led Australia to famous wins in West Indies and in the Ashes in 1970s, also picked Ricky Ponting as the better captain over Steve Waugh.