Former Australia National Cricket Team all-rounder Shane Watson has ranked the unofficial Big 5 Test batters – Virat Kohli, Joe Root, Steve Smith, Kane Williamson and Babar Azam – in terms of their performances in the purest format of the game.
During a conversation with Isa Guha on the ICC Review, Watson said that the former India National Cricket Team skipper Kohli is the best Test batter and ranked him in the No.1 position amongst the unofficial Big 5.
“I am always going to say Virat Kohli because he just continues to maintain that range in all formats. He has got such high intensity every time he goes out there to play for India and he just maintains it. So in Test cricket, yes Kohli,” he said.
He added that the Australia National Cricket Team Test vice-captain Smith is not dominating the bowlers like he used to do earlier, as a result, he has been dropped down on his list. Watson said that the Pakistan National Cricket Team captain Babar is the No.2 Test batter and Smith is No.3 on his list.
“One thing is that Steve Smith started to come off a little bit. It is just that it looks like he not putting that same pressure on bowlers as he did when he was at his absolute best. So for me, Steve sort of dropped down on that list a little bit. Babar Azam is now playing just incredibly well and we can look how well he is adapting his game to Test cricket as well. So Babar is probably No.2 at the moment,” he said.
Williamson just knows how to bat and put pressure on the bowlers – Shane Watson
Former Australia National Cricket Team all-rounder further said that the New Zealand National Cricket Team captain Williamson, who has been struggling with elbow issues in recent times, knows how to put the pressure on the bowlers. He added that the former England National Cricket Team captain Root and Kiwi Williamson are at the bottom two spots on his list of unofficial Big 5 Test batters.
“Kane Williamson has had a few elbow issues. He just knows how to bat and put pressure on the bowlers. Joe Root, he has had a bit of a time. It is strange how these world-class batters have these phase where instead of scoring those big hundreds, score 70s or 80s and still have a big impact on the game but aren’t able to maintain those real high standards they set themselves by scoring those big runs as they did in the past,” he explained.
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