Virat Kohli. (Getty Images)
NEW DELHI: Australia cricketer Steve Smith spoke about his admiration for India skipper Virat Kohli and stated that his white-ball numbers are simply incredible. Speaking during a live video session on Facebook, Smith also spoke about the much-anticipated Border-Gavaskar Trophy, scheduled to be played Down Under later this year.
Smith and Kohli currently hold the top two positions respectively in ICC Test rankings and have been consistent across formats for a while now. Smith feels Kohli’s willingness to improve as a cricketer and his passion for the game has changed Indian cricket for the good.
“I admire Virat (Kohli) a lot, he is an amazing player. You look at his record now… simply incredible. He has done so much for India in cricket. You know the way they play the game now and the sheer passion he has got for Indian cricket,” Smith said during a live interaction on Sony Ten Pit Stop show on their Facebook page.
“His willingness to improve and get better. His body seems to have transformed over time and he looks so fit and powerful.
“The one thing I admire about him is the way he chases in white-ball cricket. You look at his average in winning chases in ODIs and it is simply phenomenal,” he added.
The two stalwarts of modern-day cricket will collide once again when India touchdown in Australia later this year. The four Tests of the series will be played at Gabba, Adelaide Oval, MCG and the SCG respectively starting December 3.
Smith feels that India are well equipped in all departments and will pose a big threat for them in the series. The last time India toured the country, they won their first-ever Test series in Australia, who were without the services of Smith and David Warner at the time.
“Plenty of challenges I think because India are an incredible team. Their batting line-up is so strong. Virat… (Cheteshwar) Pujara last time here was immovable… (Ajinkya) Rahane a quality Test player. Then they have got KL Rahul and Rohit Sharma. They have got batters everywhere,” Smith said.
“They have got a great batting line-up to go with a strong bowling line-up. They have got (Mohammad) Shami and (Jasprit) Bumrah…Ishant Sharma has been here plenty of times as well. So a well rounded team and it is going to be a terrific series this summer that’s for sure.”