Virat Kohli or Steve Smith? Former Indian captain gives his take on best batsman debate
Former Indian captain Sourav Ganguly recently opened up on the Steve Smith vs Virat Kohli debate after the former Australian captain's stellar show in the Ashes 2019. Returning to Test cricket for the first time in 16 months after serving a 1-year ban for his involvement in the ball-tampering scandal, Smith took the Ashes by a storm producing a stunning performance with the bat. He pipped Kohli to take the top spot in ICC Test rankings for batsmen while helping Australia retain the prestigious urn after a 2-2 draw.
Smith enjoyed a tremendous campaign in the five-match series where he ended up amassing a staggering 774 runs in just seven innings at an incredible average of 110.57 which included a double century and two hundreds. Smith registered fifty-plus scores in six out of the seven innings he played in Ashes 2019 and finished as the leading run-getter. With 857 points, he currently is the number one Test batsmen in the world ahead of Kohli.
However, Ganguly believes Kohli remains the best in the world while admitting that Smith's number in Tests speak for themselves. He also played down any comparisons between the two modern-day greats. "These are questions not to be answered. How does it matter? It's about performance. Virat is the best in the world at the moment. So that's what makes us happy," Ganguly was quoted as saying by IANS.
"His records speak for itself... 26 Test hundreds which is a phenomenal record," he said talking about Smith, who was awarded the Man of the Series after his heroics in Ashes 2019. Kohli led India to their first series win in their World Test Championship opener against West Indies in the Carribean and will be looking to make it two in two in the upcoming Test series against South Africa.
The Indian team is currently engaged in a three-match T20I series with South Africa at home. The opener in Dharamshala was abandoned due to rain on Sunday and the second game will be played in Mohali on Wednesday. Ganguly feels India are favourites to win the series against the Proteas, who are being captained by Quinton de Kock in the shortest format of the game.
"India are favourites. India at home is a dangerous team. They are very hard to beat and that's been the case for years," Ganguly said.