In modern day tennis, the rivalry of Roger Federer and Rafael Nadal share in the sport is a legendary one. The duo have often battled for the ATP top rank spot, and the two of the greatest players facing off each other in a court is a treat for tennis fans all over the world. South African cricket icon AB de Villiers aka ABD feels there is a similar rivalry in present day cricket, and that is between Virat Kohli and Steve Smith!
Just like Federer and Nadal, it has been a tug of war between Kohli and Smith in the current global cricket scene. Adding to the high tensed rivalry between India and Australia, both batsmen have often been put to comparison, and the two have constantly battled out for the top spot in ICC Test batting rankings, which is currently occupied by Smith.
As like many cricket legends who have taken to socil amedia amidst the COVID-19 lock down, de Villers teamed up for a live Instagram session with former Zimbabwean cricketer Pommie Mbangwa.
Eventually, the inevitable question of picking between the two current greatest run machines came up. Picking his Royal Challengers Bangalore teammate as the answer, de Villers also compared the two cricket legends with the two tennis legends. Although, the former Proteas stalwart gave reasons to as why he picked Kohli as Federer and Smith as Nadal.
“It’s difficult. Virat is definitely the more natural ball striker. Smudge (Smith) is also up to that. Let’s do it in tennis terms. Virat is like Federer, Smith is more like Nadal,” ABD said during the live session.
While it was Nadal’s strong mentality was reflected in the style of Smith’s batting, according to de Villers, it was his Royal Challengers Bangalore teammate’s playing style that reminded him of the Swiss legend.
He’s (Smith) mentally very strong and figured out a way of scoring runs, he looks odd at the crease, doesn’t look natural but he ends up breaking records and doing amazing things at the crease. But my pick is Virat, who is more of a natural ball-player. He’s scored runs all over the world, won games under pressure so he’s my pick,” de Villers added.