What’s the story?
New Zealand star Kane Williamson believes Virat Kohli is the best batsman in One-Day International while his Australian counterpart Steve Smith rules the roost in Test cricket.
He also says England middle order mainstay Joe Root is right up there with the duo.
“They're all world-class. I think Steven Smith in Test cricket is playing a different game, isn't he? He's got to be right up there. Virat in ODI cricket... I mean in all formats those three are brilliant. But those two, Virat probably will be #1 in ODIs. Smith in Test cricket would have to be #1,” Williamson was quoted by Cricbuzz.
“Joe Root's got to be up there in both. He's a brilliant player as well. That's a very, very tough question but great to see those three doing so well in all formats. The way they're able to adapt their game,” he added.
In case you did not know
Williamson himself has been quite a prolific run-getter for New Zealand. Though he could not quite perform to the best of his abilities in the 2015 World Cup, he again picked up his game after the tourney.
In the recent Test series against South Africa, he smashed a 130 in Dunedin and then after missing out in both innings in the second Test he scored a dazzling 176 in Hamilton.
So far the elegant right-hander has scored 5116 runs from 61 Tests and 4361 runs from 111 ODIs. He has also amassed 1125 T20 runs from 39 outings.
Presently he is in India to play for the Sunrisers Hyderabad in the Indian Premier League (IPL), a trophy they would want to defend.
The heart of the matter
Kohli was in the form of his life last year, where he scored tons of runs in all format of the game. Be it One-Dayers, Tests or even T20s, Kohli was scoring centuries at will. However, in the recent series against Australia failed to surpass 20 in the five innings he played.
On the other hand, Steve Smith who was the opposition captain was batting like a dream on turning tracks. Out of 8 innings, he scored three delightful centuries which included a 178 not out at Ranchi in the drawn third Test.
Maybe his recent form made Williamson place him above Kohli in Test matches.
While Kohli will look to hold onto the tag by doing well in the upcoming Champions Trophy in England, Smith will try to assert his authority on other formats, like the T20s where he hasn’t scored much.
Considering Steve Smith’s recent knocks against India, I have to agree with Williamson that he is presently the best in the red-ball format but then again it was just one lean series for Kohli and he isn’t too far behind Smith. Scoring 4 consecutive double hundreds in four back to back Test series isn’t a joke.