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Sunday, Oct 20, 2019

Virat Kohli or Steve Smith? Jonty Rhodes picks best batsman in world cricket

Steve Smith retained his position at the top of the ICC Test Player Rankings after the Ashes with Virat Kohli sitting behind him on the second spot.

cricket Updated: Sep 18, 2019 08:19 IST
HT Correspondent
HT Correspondent
Hindustan Times, New Delhi
Steve Smith of Australia shakes hands with Virat Kohli of India.
Steve Smith of Australia shakes hands with Virat Kohli of India.(Cricket Australia via Getty Imag)

The comparisons between Virat Kohli and Steve Smith have become staple for any cricket discussion and over the years, many experts have expressed their opinion regarding this hotly contested topic. Former South Africa cricketer Jonty Rhodes joined the list as he picked Kohli over Smith as the best batsman in world cricket right now and said that the former Australia skipper ‘makes the ugliest hundreds’ because of action and technique.

“I enjoy watching Virat Kohli. Steve Smith, with that action and technique, makes the ugliest hundreds I have ever seen but the man just keeps scoring runs.Someone who likes to watch cricket would want to say ‘Wow! What an amazing shot’ as opposed to ‘Oh! How on earth can he hit that?’ So Virat Kohli right now,” Rhodes told New Indian Express in an interview.

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Earlier, former India skipper Sourav Ganguly did not want to compare Smith and Kohli, stressing that the India captain is still the best in the world but Smith’s records speak for itself. Smith retained his position at the top of the ICC Test Player Rankings after the Ashes with Kohli sitting behind him on the second spot.

“These are questions not to be answered. How does it matter? It’s about performance. Virat is the best in the world at the moment. So that’s what makes us happy,” Ganguly told reporters on the sidelines of Tata Steel Kolkata 25K launch.

Rhodes is still regarded as one of the best fielders in the world and when asked about his favourite fielder right now, he named India’s Ravindra Jadeja and New Zealand opener Martin Guptill. While he was all praise for Jadeja, he picked Guptill as his favourite.

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“Jadeja doesn’t get enough cricket time. Guptill is playing every game. Guptill is great in the slips, great in the covers, great in the boundaries. He is a great all-round fielder, Jadeja has got the X factor. There are really good fielders out there but Guptill for me stands out,” he said.

India face South Africa in the second T20I encounter in Mohali on Wednesday and both teams possess brilliant pace options in the form of Jasprit Bumrah and Kagiso Rabada respectively. Rhodes was reluctant to compare the two fast bowlers and said that the choice will depend on the situation.

“It depends on what you want to do. If you want to knock people down at the start of the game then Rabada, but if you are looking to defend, then Bumrah as he is a specialist.” he concluded.

First Published: Sep 17, 2019 20:37 IST

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