Virat Kohli will break Sachin Tendulkar's record of most centuries in Tests and ODIs: Monty Panesar
The Steve Smith vs Virat Kohli debate seems to be a never-ending one with a host of former superstars sharing their opinion on who is the best batsmen in the world at the moment. Joining the bandwagon, former England spinner Monty Panesar has given his take on who he feels is the best in Tests between Smith and Kohli. Panesar believes Smith has an edge over Kohli when it comes to the longer format of the game after witnessing the former Australian captain's masterclass in the recently-concluded Ashes 2019.
Smith recently pipped Kohli to the top spot of the ICC Test rankings after his phenomenal run in the Ashes 2019 where he made a mockery of the English bowling attack finishing as the highest run-getter in the five-match series with a staggering 774 runs at a stunning average of 110.57 including two centuries and a solitary double hundred. Making his return to the Test arena after 16 months, it took Smith just a handful of innings to topple Kohli from the top of Test rankings and claim the numero uno spot.
“Steve Smith is a better Test batsman than Virat Kohli. But if you take an overall package, especially limited-overs, Virat stands out. He is overall a world-class batsman. Virat is the best batsman in the world. Smith is the best Test batsman in the world," Panesar told Times of India in an interview.
While Smith had an incredible Ashes 2019 for Australia, Kohli was far from his best in the longest format of the game as he failed to make much of an impact in India's 2-0 win over West Indies in the Carribean. Returning with 136 runs in four innings against Jason Holder's men, Kohli fell 34 points behind the former Australian captain in the Test rankings and will be desperate to go on top when India take on South Africa in their upcoming two-match Test series.
Whie Panesar had little doubts in putting Smith over Kohli in Tests, he admitted that the Indian captain stands closest to breaking the legendary Sachin Tendulkar's record of most centuries in Tests and ODIs. The Master Blaster has 51 and 49 centuries to his name in Tests and ODIs respectively. Kohli has 25 Test and 43 ODI hundreds under his belt as he closes in on Sachin's tally.
“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,” said Panesar.