Virat Kohli and Steve Smith. It is fair to say that both of these cricketers are the poster boys of world cricket currently. Both of these cricketers may be divided by teams but the things that unite them are the insatiable hunger for runs and the desire to be the best in the business.
While Kohli has impinged himself as one of the greatest all-format batsman, Smith, courtesy his desire to just bat and bat and bat, has gone on to become one of the greatest Test batsman of all times.
But what are the things- apart from the teams that they represent and their style of batsmanship- that makes Virat and Smith different from each other.
Swashbuckling Australian opener David Warner recently engaged in a freewheeling chat with the ‘Voice of cricket’ Harsha Bhogle where he was asked the same question.
David Warner on what differentiates Virat Kohli from Steve Smith
And, according to David Warner, Virat Kohli is a passionate cricketer who is driven by the intensity of the contest and his penchant for stamping his authority on the game, Smith, on the other hand, goes out in the middle to just bat and bat and bat.
“When it comes to cricket, they both have got the mental strength, the mental capacity to score runs. They both love spending time in the middle. Virat’s passion and drive to score runs is different to what Steve’s would be,” said David Warner.
“Steve is going out there for a hit in the middle, that’s how he sees things. He’s hitting them out in the middle, he’s having fun, he’s enjoying himself, just does not want to get out. Virat obviously doesn’t want to get out but he knows if he spends a certain amount of time out there he’s going to score plenty of runs at a rapid rate. He’s going to get on top of you. That allows the guys coming in, especially in the Indian team you’ve got a lot of players who can be flamboyant as well,” he added.
“They stabilise, they boost morale – if they score runs, everyone else’s moral is up. If they are out cheaply you almost sense that on the field that everyone is… (down on morale and thinking) now we all have to step up. It’s a very bizarre situation,” David Warner added.
They may be pretty different in their approach but the success of Virat Kohli and Steve Smith only goes to prove one thing. And which is that you can succeed and achieve the same results even if your approaches are like chalk and cheese, as is the case with Virat and Smith.