Sports Cricket 25 Dec 2017 Today’s Cricketing ...

Today’s Cricketing Ace

DECCAN CHRONICLE.
Published Dec 25, 2017, 12:04 am IST
Updated Dec 25, 2017, 12:04 am IST
We get celebrities to give their take on a current issue each week and lend their perspective to a much-discussed topic.
Steve Smith and Virat Kohli
 Steve Smith and Virat Kohli

While spin legend Shane Warne acknowledged Virat Kohli’s achievements, he felt that when it comes to test cricket, Steve Smith ‘is the man’ “To me Steve Smith is the best Test batsman in the world,” he wrote in his column. “Virat Kohli is the best across all three formats of the game, but across five days, Steve Smith is the man.” We ask cricket enthusiasts who their pick would be for the best batsman across all three formats currently, and why. We also ask them their choice between Steve and Virat for a better batsman.

‘Virat is still enhancing his skill sets’
Abhirup Bhattacharya, author of Winning Like Virat: Think and Succeed like Kohli

I feel that it is actually too early to decide who is the best between the two champion cricketers. Virat Kohli is still enhancing his skill sets and is emerging as the better cricketer with every match. There is little doubt that Steve Smith is an equally good cricketer. At the same time, the comparison will only be valid for five to six years from now. Moreover, it is equally important to look at all forms of cricket if we are to judge the best instead of just test cricket.

 

‘In cricket, greatness is achieved by the way a team performs outside home’
Aakash Chopra, former Indian cricketer

There is no doubt about the fact that Virat Kohli is the man to beckon when it comes be the best batsman across all the formats. But when it comes to pick the best man for Test cricket, at present I will agree with Shane Warne. Steve definitely takes the title by a small margin. In cricket, greatness is achieved by the way a team performs outside home and in 2018, India and Virat will get more opportunities to shine. According to me, by the end of 2018, the debate over who the best batsman is in Test cricket too will be over with Virat leading all the way.

 

‘It is now a big upcoming year for Virat’
Ayaz Memon, sports commentator

The way Steve Smith has performed over the last two years is commendable and deserves an applause. It shows he has a better average and he is, in fact, the number one ranked batsman by ICC — it suggests that he has proved his mettle. However, this is not to say it is set in stone. The player input fluctuates with every series. I think what has perhaps worked in Steve’s favour, when these things are concerned, is that he has also made runs outside of Australia — a heck of a lot of runs. Inarguably, Virat has also done so — he has made runs in Australia, New Zealand, South Africa, Sri Lanka, and even elsewhere. But he hasn’t made runs in England.

 

The year 2018 is important for Virat. So this debate will keep happening. Right now, Steve is in the limelight because Ashes is a very high-profile series, and he is performing extremely well. He will obviously appear as the frontrunner here. When you have batsmen, performers, and artistes of this calibre, who are also competitors in some sense, then it is a very fascinating tussle that will always place. Ultimately, these things are decided towards the end of their careers. And I belive these guys are just about midway through their careers.

 

‘Virat-Steve comparisons remind me of sachin-lara ones’
Sachin Dev, entrepreneur and cricket enthusiast

Comparing Virat Kohli and Steve Smith reminds me of the yesteryear’s comparison between Sachin Tendulkar and Brian Lara or Tendulkar and Ricky Ponting. Both are magnificent cricketers of their reign. However, looking deep into the numbers, I must agree with legendary spinner Shane Warne. Kohli really is the best limited overs cricketer at the moment. But when it comes to the red ball game, especially overseas, Steve Smith has an edge over Kohli. The numbers speak for themselves — Kohli is the king at home, but not the king overseas. Him not having such great records on challenging pitches like England backs my view. While Steve has been like a lone warrior in a not-so-great Australian batting line up, he has always stood up to his responsibilities both as a captain and a batsman. For Virat, the upcoming South African series will be the best bet to prove his mettle in different overseas conditions against strong Proteas (South African team) bowling line up.

 

‘Virat is such a naturally gifted player’
Salil Ankola, cricketer-turned-actor

It looks like Shane Warne is running for elections in Australia and needs the cricket vote bank there! I have played several times with Sachin Tendulkar and marvelled at his game. And all this time playing and living cricket, I have inferred that the only one who comes any close to him is Virat Kohli. When I first saw Virat on television, I thought, “Man, this guy can bat!” He is such a naturally gifted player! If you ask me to do pick between Virat and Steve, I would be like, “Steve, who?” For me, there is no debate here.

 

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