Virat Kohli vs Steve Smith: Who is the best Test batsman since Bradman?

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Published: September 6, 2019 5:37:26 PM

Smith has been applauded for his knock from greats around the world.

Smith’s recent knocks have come when Australia was under pressure and he managed to get his team out of trouble every time with amazing regularity. (PC: IE)

Virat Kohli and Steve Smith are two modern-day greats in Test cricket who have often been compared with the uncomparable Don Bradman. Smith and Kohli have been at the top of the ICC Test Rankings for a long time with no real competition and considered closest to the Australian great when it comes to achievements in five-day cricket. Indian captain Virat Kohli had a brilliant run in 2018 where he managed to score 1322 runs in 13 Test matches with an average of 55.08. In the year, Kohli managed to reach the pinnacle of Test cricket by becoming number 1 batsman in ICC Test rankings. Kohli’s performances across all formats have been brilliant, but his impact in Test matches comes nowhere close to his match-winning runs in ODIs and T20 matches.

Kohli’s Test tons took India to victory in only two matches outside Asia, while Smith’s form in the Ashes has been ominous — he scored 590 runs in 4 innings in the ongoing series. Smith’s Ashes knocks have helped him dethrone Virat Kohli from the top spot in Test rankings. Steve Smith was out of action for the last one year after he admitted of ball-tampering in Austalia’s away series with South Africa. He was booed across stadiums in England when he came out to bat, but he managed to silence his critics with his stellar performances. Smith’s recent knocks have come when Australia was under pressure and he managed to get his team out of trouble every time with amazing regularity.

Smith has been applauded by cricketing greats around the world. He was forced to sit out in the third Test after being hit by a Jofra Archer bouncer, but the Smith returned with a bang smashing a double ton in the Manchester Test. He went on to become the only batsman after Don Bradman to score 3 double centuries against England. The former Australian captain’s technique could be up for debate but none can question his consistency. He has proved to the world that if you have belief in your batting ability then you can achieve anything.

Smith’s recent form and his career record seem to settle the debate in his favour. His all-time average in Test cricket is 63.24. Virat Kohli has an average of 53.21 in 79 Test matches, however, this can change as both cricketers have a long career ahead of them. Other players like Kane Williamson are not far behind in batting averages and pose a challenge to the fabulous duo. However, going by the Test records and impact on matches, Smith seems to be one up among all his contemporaries.

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