Kohli's ability to perform under pressure makes him better than Smith, says Makhaya Ntini

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Kohli's ability to perform under pressure makes him better than Smith, says Makhaya Ntini

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SportsCafe Desk

01/25/2018

Makhaya Ntini feels that Indian skipper Virat Kohli's ability to perform intensely under pressure makes him a better batsman than Australian skipper Steven Smith. The South African bowler also stated that he feels the 'wounded Indians will come out all guns blazing' in the limited-overs series.

India saw yet another brave display from skipper Virat Kohli alongside test specialist Cheteshwar Pujara that ensured competitive first innings lead on the tough batting track at the Wanderers Stadium yesterday. His previous knock of 153 runs in the second Test, while other batsmen crumbled like a pack of cards has made him pretty much the lone soldier on the battlefield. 

Taking charge of the team back in 2014, Kohli has played 34 games so far, scoring 3361 runs at an average of 65.90, which include 14 centuries and five half-centuries. His ability to perform under pressure has been quite impressive and Ntini believes that this quality separates him from his nemesis, Steven Smith.

“... In a country where cricket is an obsession, Kohli shoulders the responsibility of bringing a smile to a billion faces like a true champion. At times, it almost feels like he is a run-machine and not a human. His dedication and work ethic is exemplary and the consistency with which he scores runs -- the huge level of expectation notwithstanding -- sets him apart from any player in the modern era. No denying that Smith is an equally brilliant batsman, but the Aussie skipper doesn’t have half the pressure from fans that Kohli has to face every time he marks his guard,” the 40-year-old said speaking to CricketNext. 

In Australia, rugby and soccer dominate the local polls while reports stated that cricket ranks third or fourth. This proves that the Aussie skipper, while brilliant with the bat and outstanding in the field, doesn’t come under much scrutiny as does Kohli.

Coming to the ongoing Test series, Ntini feels that even though the Indians did not manage to win or draw the Test series, their brand of cricket has impressed one and all. He also believes that the limited-over series will be completely different as compared to the Test series.

“India might have failed to get the desired result in the Test series, but they have played an aggressive brand of cricket and that has seen the momentum shift time and again in both the Test matches – in Cape Town and Centurion. Kohli knows his game and he had the bowlers who could get him 20 wickets. The batting did disappoint and not having Ajinkya Rahane in the XI meant that the visitors missed the trick. But then, it will be a completely new chapter when the ODIs start and trust me the wounded Indians will come out all guns blazing,” Ntini added.

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