'Smith better Test batsman than Virat Kohli'

The Times of India

The Times of India

Author 2019-09-19 17:44:42

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  • While Steve Smith has 26 centuries in Tests, Virat Kohli has 25 Test tons under his belt
  • Virat Kohli and Steve Smith - undoubtedly the two most talented batsmen in world cricket currently
  • Monty Panesar also praised Indian fast bowler Jasprit Bumrah
NEW DELHI: Virat Kohli and Steve Smith - undoubtedly the two most talented batsmen in world cricket currently. The way Smith has made a comeback to international cricket is staggering. Kohli meanwhile is consistency personified. So who is the better batsman? While the experts are divided in their opinions, many tend to lean towards Smith when it comes to Test cricket.

Former England spinner Monty Panesar is no different.

“Steve Smith is a better Test batsman than Virat Kohli,” Panesar told Timesofindia.com in an exclusive interview.

“But if you take an overall package, especially limited-overs, Virat (Kohli) stands out. He (Kohli) is overall a world-class batsman. Virat is the best batsman in the world. Smith is the best Test batsman in the world,” Panesar said.

While Smith has 26 centuries in Tests, Kohli has 25 Test tons under his belt.

And Panesar thinks Kohli has a better chance of breaking Sachin Tendulkar’s mammoth 100 centuries (ODIs and Tests combined) record.

“Virat (Kohli) has a better chance of breaking his (Sachin's) Test centuries record (51 Test centuries). The way he is batting and the form he is in, he will go on and break both the ODI and Test centuries records. He has the ability to make more than 100 centuries,” Panesar said.

Panesar, who played 50 Tests for England and took 167 wickets, also praised Indian fast bowler Jasprit Bumrah. Panesar feels the youngster has changed the face of Indian fast bowling.

“He (Jasprit Bumrah) is brilliant and amazing. The amazing part is that he transformed himself as an important member of the tam in a short period of time. His ability to learn and to adapt to things quickly has amazed me. I think he has learnt a lot at Mumbai Indians,” Panesar said.

Bumrah has featured in only 12 Test matches so far, but already has 62 wickets. He has emerged as India's pace bowling spearhead.

“I am sure Sachin Tendulkar has played a big role in his (Bumrah's) development. He has a huge influence on him. What length to bowl, how to swing. How to judge a batsman – all these things Bumrah has learnt so quickly. How you think about the game and how you tactically take the right decisions – all these things Bumrah has learnt so fast and under the guidance of Sachin,” he said.

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