Kepler Wessels has named Virat Kohli as the best batsmen in the world right now but saved some praise for Steve Smith as well calling his style of putting up runs as phenomenal. The former Australia and South Africa player has opined that India have now become a dominant team on cricket circuit.
Under Kohli’s captaincy, Team India equaled Australia’s record of nine consecutive Test series wins and now the team is in South Africa where they have a chance of creating a new record of ten consecutive wins. On the other hand, Australia won the Ashes series by 4-0 under Smith’s captaincy thanks to his terrific performance throughout the series.
In Ashes, Smith scored 141*, 40, 6, 239, 76, 102* and 83 while his Indian counterpart scored 42, 0, 104*, 213, 243, 50, 5 and 28 in the same number of Test matches. Comparisons between Kohli and Smith are now common as they both ruling the game in their own way. Joe Root and Kane Williamson are the other names who are often considered during the talk about the best batsman in the world at present time but recently the duo have slipped away from the conversation.
“I think Kohli is terrific and I like the aggressive brand of cricket he plays. I like the way he can turn a match and the impact he has across all three formats. He is definitely one of the best batsmen at the moment. I like his personality and his aggression and the way he takes the game to the opposition. I think his leadership skills have been pretty good so far and it runs on the rest of the players,” Wessels told CricketNext.
“Look it’s always difficult to compare players because they play under different conditions, in different circumstances and also for different teams. They all have been superb in modern day cricket. But Kohli is more adventurous probably than the other three. Smith is just phenomenal in the way he puts runs together at the crease, Root is
India lead the Test rankings with 124 rating points and in the 50-overs format, the team stands at the second position. With 121 ratings the Men in Blue spotted on the third behind New Zealand and Pakistan. The 60-year-old talked about the changes that have resulted due to the introduction of the IPL. He also recalled his playing time and claimed that India has been always being a big shot on the cricket circuit but now they have more power.
“I think Indian cricket has come a long way. I think the Indian Premier League (IPL) has made a huge difference to Indian cricket. I think the Indian players are better equipped to play on foreign conditions now than they used to. But even in those days (Wessels' time), they had a superb team with the likes of Kapil Dev in the early 80’s and later guys like Sachin Tendulkar took over.
Kohli’s decision of picking Rohit Sharma over Rahane started the discussion and Wessels, who played 40 Tests in his career, also joined the talk and backed the vice-captain of Indian Test team. After losing the first Test by 72 runs, the critics targeted Kohli for his move to bench Rahane who has a better playing record in the Rainbow nation and since Rohit failed to utilize the recent chance who scored only 11 and 10 in the Cape Town Test.
“I rate him (Rahane) highly as a Test player and he has got a good away record. He is technically very sound. So, I was surprised to see him miss out on the Test match at the start of the series,” he said.