Virat Kohli close but Root, Williamson are nowhere near Steve Smith, feels Ricky Ponting

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Virat Kohli close but Root, Williamson are nowhere near Steve Smith, feels Ricky Ponting

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SportsCafe Desk

12/19/2017

Ricky Ponting has given his verdict on the “fab-four” debate saying only Virat Kohli is comparable to Steve Smith and that Joe Root and Kane Williamson are nowhere close to the Aussie skipper right now. The legendary Aussie has also added that Mitchell Marsh’s performance can boost his Test career.

In terms of Australian rankings, Ricky Ponting is often regarded as Australia's second greatest batsman after Sir Don Bradman boasting the nation's most ever runs and hundreds in both Tests and ODIs. However, Smith is quickly making a stellar case for himself, challenging Ponting's lofty position. After his brilliant unbeaten double century on Day 3 at the WACA, Smith has now notched 22 tons, and almost rested the topic of who is the best Test batsman in the current generation. Ponting has also been awed by his compatriot’s sublime form and settled the debate once and for all.

“You look at the other better players in the world; Virat Kohli is on a pretty high pedestal but then you look at Joe Root and Kane Williamson, as far as I’m concerned those guys are nowhere near as good as Steven Smith and I’ve said that for a long time,” Ponting told cricket.com.au.

“You look at his wagon wheel, he’s got boundaries almost all around the ground and there’s no obvious weakness and with his appetite for runs that he’s got he’ll just keep batting forever. Imagine him back in the day when there were Timeless Tests he would’ve just batted forever!”

The three-time World Cup winning player further added that England players came to him seeking advice on how to get Smith out. 

“I even had England players come to me this morning saying ‘Just give us something on Smith. What are we going to bowl to Smith?’. And I said, ‘Look, one, I’m not going to tell you. And two, I don’t know anyway because it seems like he’s got every base covered’,” the 42-year old said.

Australia’s team selection was the subject of a massive debate ever since the very first Test at the Gabba, and when the selectors picked Mitchell Marsh in the team ahead of Peter Handscomb for the Perth Test, critics had every reason to question the selection. Marsh had been branded as the worst No.6 batsman ever and many thought his return would bring back the nightmare into the Aussies team. However, the Marsh jr played a composed innings of 181 runs to shut the critics’ mouth and that impressed the three-time World Cup-winning cricketer.

“There has been a lot of ‘noise’ about Mitchell Marsh and his selection back in the team again.Have the selectors made the wrong or the right call? I think it’s been proven again they’ve made the right call… There wouldn’t be a person in Australia that’s not happy seeing Mitchell Marsh doing what he’s doing at the moment,” he said.

"Some of the striking and how clean and pure the striking has been today, this could be the start of a really long and successful international career now. It seems like he’s unlocked something within himself and he can go and play with a bit of freedom and he now knows he’s got the game to succeed at Test level, which is really important.”

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