Melbourne: Australian legendary leg-spinner Shane Warne feels that Steve Smith has a slight edge over Virat Kohli in Test match cricket, although he felt that the duo are the best batsmen in this generation.
Warne, who represented Australia in 145 Test matches from 1992 to 2007 and has 708 wickets to his name in the longest format of the game picked a list of 11 batsmen whom he has seen or played with or against.
On that list, Kohli shared the number 10 spot with Smith but Warne said that the Australian skipper had an edge over his Indian counterpart for his batting in Test cricket.
“To me Steve Smith is the best Test batsman in the world. Virat Kohli is the best across all three formats of the game, but across five days, Smith is the man,” wrote Warne in his column News Corp, as quoted by cricket.com.au.
The 29-year-old Kohli had a forgettable time in 2014 during the tour of England where he was repeatedly dismissed while trying to poke at deliveries outside the off-stump. This was the factor Warne had in mind while distinguishing between Smith and Kohli.
Smith has an impressive average of 43.31 in England and also has three away Ashes hundreds.
“To me a great batsman has to have made a hundred in three key countries: in England, against the Duke ball on seaming and swinging pitches; in Australia, on our fast-paced, bouncy tracks; and of course, in the dust bowls of India, on pitches that spin and spit,” he said.
“The hole in Kohli’s CV on the Test match stage is in England and the pressure is on the fiery but very likeable Indian to carry over some double-ton magic from home soil to that country when his team tours next year,” he added further.
In Warne’s list, West Indies greats Viv Richards and Brian Lara featured at the number one and two spot respectively while the legendary Sachin Tendulkar came in at number three.
Sachin was followed by three Australians-Greg Chappell, Ricky Ponting and Allan Border. Graham Gooch was the lone Englishman in the list at number eight while South Africa’s Jacques Kallis and AB De Villiers were at number seven and nine respectively.