Steve Smith or Virat Kohli - Who is a better Test batsman? Former England spinner gives a clear answer
After Steve Smith’s recent exploits in the Ashes Test series against England, the cricketing world is debating who is a better batsman in the longest format - Smith or India captain Virat Kohli. Former England spinner Monty Panesar weighed his opinion on the same and said that the former Australia skipper is a better Test batsman than Kohli. Speaking in an interview to Times of India, Panesar said: “Steve Smith is a better Test batsman than Virat Kohli. But if you take an overall package, especially limited-overs, Virat stands out. He is overall a world-class batsman. Virat is the best batsman in the world. Smith is the best Test batsman in the world.”
Panesar further went on to claim that Kohli could surpass Sachin Tendulkar’s record of 100 tons in international cricket. “Virat (Kohli) has a better chance of breaking his (Sachin’s) Test centuries record (51 Test centuries). The way he is batting and the form he is in, he will go on and break both the ODI and Test centuries records. He has the ability to make more than 100 centuries,” he said.
The former right-arm spinner further named Jasprit Bumrah as the pick among Indian bowlers. “He (Jasprit Bumrah) is brilliant and amazing. The amazing part is that he transformed himself as an important member of the tam in a short period of time. His ability to learn and to adapt to things quickly has amazed me. I think he has learnt a lot at Mumbai Indians,” he said.
“I am sure Sachin Tendulkar has played a big role in his (Bumrah’s) development. He has a huge influence on him. What length to bowl, how to swing. How to judge a batsman – all these things Bumrah has learnt so quickly. How you think about the game and how you tactically take the right decisions – all these things Bumrah has learnt so fast and under the guidance of Sachin,” he added.
The 30-year-old Smith smashed 774 runs in seven innings, at an average of 110.57 in the series, with three tons and three fifties. He also surpassed Virat Kohli to cement top position in ICC Test batting rankings.