Cricket is a sport that thrives on rivalries and because it’s such a stat driven sport, there are bound to be comparisons. While some people are abhorrent about comparing two players with different styles, it helps the game in the larger scheme of things. It helps create battles within battles and gives more textures to the contest. The Wasim vs Waqar debate, Lara vs Tendulkar, Gavaskar vs Boycott, Warne vs Murali, these are all great rivalries.
Unfortunately, in the modern era, after Steyn was past his best and the Steyn vs Anderson debate was also put to rest, there are very few rivalries remaining. Having said that, one contest that is head and shoulders above any other in the current era is the Smith and Kohli one. And when Steve Smith was missing in action due to the infamous sandpaper gate it looked like Virat was walking away as the undisputed best.
However, the miracle comeback of Smith in the Ashes has well and truly put him right up there and now it’s about choosing between the right and left eye. You can’t get two more contrasting techniques or individuals but the results are still right up there and that is the beauty of this great game. While, Virat is this feisty and emotional being, Smith is more ‘in his bubble’ kind of character who has some of the most dramatic mannerisms.
If one’s technique is the photostat of the ‘book’, the other couldn’t be more cluttered in his movements. Recently, ex-Aussie fast bowler and someone who loves India, Brett Lee was asked to pick between the two and Binga looked hesitant at first chose Smith over Virat purely for what he’d been through.
“At the moment I would choose Smith over Kohli because of what he has been through and what he has to overcome, they are two great players, I think Smith can be as good as Don Bradman, there have been talks of him becoming just like Bradman looking at the numbers,” opined Lee.