In the world of cricket, the rivalry of Team India skipper Virat Kohli and Australian superstar Steve Smith is not new. The silent tussle between the two iconic sportspersons is always eminent in the media and the cricketing fandom, as there are split opinions about who is the better one out of ICC’s no. 1 and no. 2 Test batsmen. Following the closure of the 3 match One Day International against India, Steve Smith himself opens up.
In a recent interview session with IANS, the topic of Virat Kohli eventually came up, and Steve Smith had the quintessential response on the Indian superstar.
“Yeah, he is terrific. His batting numbers just speak for themselves,” Smith went all out on praising Kohli: “I think he’s an incredible player in all three formats and I think we will see him break many records. He’s already broken plenty of them and I see him breaking many more over the years.”
Despite a loss on the first ODI, Kohli bounced back with an effective game plan, along with two brilliant knocks of 78 and 89 in the second and third match, respectively.
“He has got the hunger for runs and doesn’t stop getting them. Hopefully he can stop getting them against Australia, that’ll be nice.” Smith added.
Kohli has been hailed by many pundits and supporters, including the Men in Blues’ head coach Ravi Shastri, who complimented the 31 year old’s love and passion for India’s Test matches, and also on bringing the red ball format back to its former glory. Smith had quite the similar response on the topic.
The 30 year old continued: “As a captain he’s already made India the number one side in the world in Test cricket. From what I have seen he sets really good standards for them. He is a lot about fitness and is health conscious and things like that. He’s got the Indian side into a really good place and leads them exceptionally well,”
However, the memory the former Aussie captain so fondly remembers is the heartwarming gesture Kohli did back at the 2019 ICC Cricket World Cup, where Kohli engaged the crowd to cheer for Smith, despite facing slack from the Indian fans on the sandpaper scandal.
“In the World Cup it was really nice of Virat to do what he did. He did not have to do that and yeah it was a lovely gesture and really appreciated that,” Smith appreciated Kohli’s uplifting action, the same one that earned the Indian captain ICC’s ‘Spirit of Cricket’ award.