Rhodes, Ganguly declare Steve Smith NOT the best batsman in the world
Following hot off the heels of an incredible individual performance in which Steve Smith averaged 110.57 during the 2019 Ashes series, ex-pros Jonty Rhodes and Sourav Ganguly have gone against the grain by deeming Virat Kohli a superior batsmen to the Australian.
Smith bumped his average up to 64.54 with a host of idiosyncratic scores that frustrated England’s bowling attack at every turn – the lofty average now leaving the Sydney-native comfortably clear of the Test average chasing back in second place, only behind Sir Donald Bradman’s unattainable 99.94.
Edgbaston: 144 and 142
Headingley: didn't play
Old Trafford: 211 and 82
The Oval: 80 and 23
7️⃣7️⃣4️⃣ runs at an average of 1️⃣1️⃣0️⃣.5️⃣7️⃣!
— ESPNcricinfo (@ESPNcricinfo) September 15, 2019
In the not-too-distant past, choosing the best out of Smith, Virat Kohli, Kane Williamson and Joe Root seemed like the devil’s own work.
But with Root flattering to deceive amid the familiar failures to convert, and Smith pushing his average advantage over Kohli and Williamson into double figures, it seemed clear that the Aussie run-hoover has become the undisputed number one.
READ: Liebke and Bowden’s Ridiculous Ashes – Fifth Test: Mitch Marsh, No Balls, Steve Smith’s Human Frailty
Not according to Messrs Rhodes and Ganguly.
Speaking to the New Indian Express, fielding great Rhodes said: “I enjoy watching Virat Kohli.
“Steve Smith, with that action and technique, makes the ugliest hundreds I have ever seen but the man just keeps scoring runs.
“Someone who likes to watch cricket would want to say ‘Wow! What an amazing shot’ as opposed to ‘Oh! How on earth can he hit that?’
“So Virat Kohli right now.”
Those sentiments were (unsurprisingly) backed up by former Indian captain Sourav Ganguly.
The 16-time Test centurion initially appeared reluctant to plonk for Kohli, but in the end, couldn’t resist the temptation.
“These are questions not to be answered,” Ganguly told reporters on the sidelines of an Indian 25k race (via the Hindustan Times).
“How does it matter? It’s about performance. Virat is the best in the world at the moment. So that’s what makes us happy.”
READ ASHES FALLOUT
- England should move on from Anderson and Broad axis – Vaughan
- The spinners union unites – Leach reveals beer banter with Lyon
- Hussain, Ponting debate key Ashes moment; query Archer strategy
- Gower down but not out – the ex-Sky broadcaster on his next move
Morgan warns against long-term impact of bio-bubbles
England captain Eoin Morgan and his West Indies counterpart Jason Holder have expressed concerns about continuous use of bio-bubbles.
Misbah sheds light on decision to pick Usman over Zahid
Usman Qadir won the nod for the squad to face Zimbabwe ahead of journeyman tweaker Zahid Mehmood leading to questions about Misbah’s picks.
BBL clubs given until the end of week to lock in extra overseas player
The Australian Cricketers' Association have dropped...
Jason Holder “disappointed” over Black Lives Matter response
England took a knee with the West Indies and Ireland but not during series against Australia and Pakistan.
Glenn says bio-bubble experience in Derby was ‘special’
Sarah Glenn got more familiar with her homeground during the five-match T20I series against the West Indies.
Rashid Khan: Afghanistan need to play more against Test cricket’s elite
Afghanistan have played just four Tests since being granted full membership of the ICC on 22 June 2017.
Plunkett and Malan drafted to Lanka Premier League teams
The Lanka Premier League is set to get underway on 21 November, the schedule is yet to be released but the final is set for 13 December.
Zimbabwe squad jets out for their first tour since lockdown
Zimbabwe will want to scrap for every possible point in a bid to qualify for the 2023 World Cup via the ODI Super League.
Pakistan look to youth to take on Zimbabwe in T20s
Misbah says Pakistan will not experiment in ODIs as every match counts for ICC Men’s Cricket World Cup 2023 direct qualification.