Former Indian opener Gautam Gambhir has a made big claim where he stated that Aussie no.3 Steve Smith isn't far away from Virat Kohli in ODI format. He went on to assert that making a century in 18 overs and 60 balls is not a joke and Smith has had a great impact in the last two games.
Steven Smith and Virat Kohli are two batters who are compared incessantly by fans and experts alike. While there is no one who comes close to Steven Smith the Test batsman, the same can be said about Indian skipper Virat Kohli in ODIs. India's no.3 in white-ball cricket has 11,977 runs in 250 ODIs at an average of 59.29 with as many as 43 centuries. On the other hand, Steven Smith, who averages a whopping 62.84 in Tests, scores 43.71 runs on an average in ODIs after playing 127 games.
Despite the difference, former Indian Test opener Gautam Gambhir has asserted that Smith isn't too far away from Kohli in the 50-overs format.
“This is pure class and he isn’t that far away from Virat Kohli. We keep talking about Virat Kohli, (and asking) is Virat Kohli the best ODI batsman in the world ever. Steve Smith isn’t that far,” Gambhir said on ESPNCricinfo, reported Hindustan Times.
World Cup-winner Gautam Gambhir also added that Kohli will always have better numbers but Smith had a greater impact in the last two games where he made twin 62-ball hundreds.
“Getting a hundred in 18 overs and getting two back to back hundreds in 60 balls is no joke. Yes, Virat Kohli will always have better numbers but look at the impact Steve Smith has had in the last two games,” he added.
He also reckoned that this is going to be a long tour for India and it's just the beginning. India have already lost the three-match ODI series as Australia beat them on Sunday in Sydney to take a lead of 2-0 in the three-match series.
“It is going to be tough for India. I am telling you, even in the third game and probably going forward as well. This is just the start of this long tour. If India doesn’t find something (about) how to get Steve Smith out, it is going to be a long, long tour for the bowlers,” Gambhir further said.
Gambhir, who was key to India's 2007 T20 World Cup and 2011 World Cup wins feels that Smith will trouble India in Tests big time.
“He has a huge appetite for runs and it’s just the start now. Once he goes into the Test format with this kind of form, if he gets in, it’s going to be troubling times for India,” Gambhir signed off.
India will take on Australia in the third ODI in the country's capital Canberra on Wednesday. David Warner and Pat Cummins will no longer be part of the white-ball series that will have three T20Is post the ODI series.