Melbourne: Australian leg-spin legend Shane Warne considers Virat Kohli and Steven Smith as two of the best batsmen of the current generation but feels that Smith outsmarted the Indian captain in Test cricket.
Warne, who played 145 Tests between 1992 and 2007, has listed his top 11 batsmen from those he has either seen or played with or against.
On the list, Smith shares the 10th spot along with Kohli, though Warne did say he felt the Australian had his contemporary counterpart for Test cricket’s batting crown covered.
“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,” Warne wrote in his News Corp column as quoted by cricket.com.au.
Kohli’s dismal tour of England in 2014 was the factor Warne used to separate the India skipper and Smith, who has made three away Ashes hundreds and averages 43.31 in the United Kingdom.
“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.
“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 wrote.
Warne listed West Indian legends Viv Richards and Brian Lara as first and second respectively, with Indian batting maestro Sachin Tendulkar third.
Next on his list came three Australians in Greg Chappell, Ricky Ponting and Allan Border.
South Africans Jacques Kallis and AB de Villiers were at seven and nine respectively, with lone Englishman Graham Gooch between that pair at number eight.
Smith and Kohli rounded out the top 11, with Warne offering a final word on the world’s No.1-ranked Test batsman.