The debate over who is the better batsman between Virat Kohli and Steve Smith refuses to die down. With both the batsmen showing unprecedented consistency, the cricketing world has been busy comparing the two almost everyday. Smith is widely regarded as the best Test batsman while Kohli is regarded as the best all-format player.
Kohli was recently replaced by Smith at the top of the ICC Test rankings. The India skipper is currently at number two in Tests and number one in ODIs. And while the jury is still out over who is the better batsman among the two, former Australia bowler Brett Lee has picked Smith as the better one.
The legendary pacer said that Smith is currently a better batsman than Kohli before stating that the gap between the two is minimal. Brett Lee picked Smith ahead of the Indian cricket team captain for the way he bounced back from his suspension and continued to score runs across formats.
“Who do I think is the best? Look, it’s so hard to pick because there’s a lot of qualities in both players that I enjoy. I try to look at it from a bowlers’ perspective and see if there are any flaws that I would try to exploit. There’s obviously very little,” Brett Lee told Cricbuzz.
“They are two different players. Virat Kohli is technically sound, hits down the ground. He used to nick off a number of years ago but he’s tightened up and that’s not the case anymore.
“He’s a great leader as well. Kohli is definitely right up there. Steve Smith has been through a lot over the last couple of years and his rise back to stardom again has been amazing.
“He’s a completely different batsman (to Kohli). Who would I pick at the moment? Because of what he’s been through I would go with Steve Smith.
“Smith took his punishment on the chin, did his time and has come back brilliantly and for me that shows his mental strength. People were talking about him being as good as Sir Don Bradman and he still could be despite having some time out of the game,” he added.
Smith took Tests by storm after making a comeback in last year’s Ashes following the completion of one year ban imposed on him for the ball-tampering scandal. The right-handed batsman had scored 774 runs in just seven innings at an average of more than 100 as he helped Australia retain the Ashes for the first time since 2001 on English soil.