English batsman Ian Bell picked Virat Kohli as the best batsman amongst Joe Root, Steve Smith, Kane Williamson and Kohli himself, who each captain their respective Test sides. Moreover, the 35-year old revealed his batting technique was inspired by none other than the legendary Rahul Dravid.
In a freewheeling chat session on Reddit, Ian Bell picked Virat Kohli as the best batsman cum- captain in the Tests.
"Kohli, without a SHADOW OF DOUBT!" Bell replied to the question of who among Smith, Root, Kane and Kohli is the best.
Kohli ranks fifth in the ICC Test rankings for batsmen, while Steve Smith tops the table followed by Kane Williamson and Joe Root in the second and third spots respectively. However, the Indian captain has enjoyed more success than his counterparts in the recent past and lead India to a successful home Test season, which resulted in the Men in Blue retaining their number one spot in the Test team rankings.
On the other hand, Bell picked Pakistan pacer Mohammad Amir as the best bowler amongst the likes of Mustafizur Rehman, Kagiso Rabada and Jasprit Bumrah. The left-arm pacer has scalped 94 wickets in 28 Test matches and 50 wickets from the 34 ODIs he has played so far.
"Amir, he's amazing," Bell said commenting on the Pakistani pacers abilities.
English batsman Joe Root was handed the reins of the Test team after Alastair Cook stepped down from the position earlier this year and Bell feels it was the right decision.
"Cook is definitely a really good captain and his record proves that, having said that this is probably the right time for him to step down and Joe can take this young side forward, and I hope that Joe can carry the team forward as Kohli, S Smith and Williamson have done and their batting's flowed with it." he said.
England has been performing brilliantly in the ODIs which is in stark contrast to their performance at the 2015 World Cup where the Three Lions faced an early exit in the group stages after losses to Sri Lanka and Bangladesh. England have since then been on a resurgent run and have eased into the semi-finals of the ongoing Champions Trophy with a hundred percent win record in the group stages.
"I feel it's two changes that have made the difference: England have picked more T20 players than they have in the past, and a more aggressive bowling attacks and not just look to defend but also take wickets (a la Rashid in today's game against Australia," Bell reasoned as the cause of England's resurgence in the limited overs format.
Further, the 35-year old who is known for his ability to play an exquisite cover drive and a late cut shot revealed that his success was a result of nothing but hard work and consistent practice. When questioned regarding the basis of his batting technique Bell said that he had been inspired by none other than Rahul Dravid.
"I loved watching Rahul Dravid bat and just worked really hard on my technique. No particular reason apart from hours and hours of hard work, it wasn't really meant to be like that, just came through practice," he stated.
Finally, when questioned about his greatest innings Bell replied, "Double hundred against India when we became the Number 1 team in the world at the Oval." Moreover, the Englishman is backing his country to win the Champions Trophy and also lauded the performance of the Bangladeshi team who shocked New Zealand to seal a semi-final spot.
India or West Indies? Who will win?
WI hold a 60-53 H2H advantage over IND historically but in last 10 completed games between them , IND have won 7. IND has also won all last 5 games at this venue.