Virat Kohli vs Steve Smith comparison: The Sportsrush compares the two modern-day greats of international cricket.
There is no hiding to the ever-increasing comparisons between India captain Virat Kohli and Australia batsman Steve Smith. Since the latter’s mind-blowing form in the recently concluded 2019 Ashes series, more fuel has been added to this conversation of who among the two is the better batsman.
Given Kohli’s unmatched status in the limited-overs format, it is hard to find a contemporary batsman who gives him competition in both ODIs and T20Is. Compared to Kohli, Smith is nowhere near him both in ODIs and T20Is. Hence, doubtlessly making Kohli the better limited-overs batsman.
In 239 ODIs, Kohli has scored 11,520 runs at an average of 60.31 and a strike rate of 93.21 including 43 centuries and 54 half-centuries. In 71 T20Is, Kohli has scored 2,441 runs at an average of 50.85 and a strike rate of 135.91 including 22 half-centuries.
On the other hand, Smith’s 3,810 ODI runs have come in 118 matches at an average of 41.41 and a strike rate of 86.31. The 30-year old cricketer has only scored eight centuries and 23 half-centuries in the format.
Smith, who last played a T20I against India during the ICC World Twenty20 2016 in Mohali, has had a below par record in the format. In 30 T20Is till date, Smith has scored 471 runs at an average of 21.55 and a strike rate of 122.44 including a couple of half-centuries.
Virat Kohli vs Steve Smith comparison – Test Cricket
Contrary to the above numbers, Smith doubtlessly betters Kohli when it comes to Test matches. In 68 Tests, the former Australian captain has scored 6,973 runs at an average of 64.56 and a strike rate of 56.38 including 26 centuries and 27 half-centuries.
Steve Smith’s competition is Steve Smith himself. Virat Kohli has been left far behind.
— Kunal Singh (@d_extrovert) September 7, 2019
On the other hand, Kohli has played more matches but scored less number of runs in Tests. Kohli’s 6,749 Test runs have come in 79 Test matches at an average of 53.14 and a strike rate of 57.01 including 25 centuries and 22 half-centuries.
Test batsmen are generally judged because of their record away from home. Upon applying the same filter, one once again finds out that Smith is the better of the two batsmen in cricket’s ancestral format.
In 35 Tests away from home, Smith has scored 3,609 runs at an average of 60.15 and a strike rate of 55.52 including 13 centuries and 14 half-centuries. Kohli, who has played 45 Tests away from home, has scored 3,644 runs at an average of 46.12 and a strike rate of 55.07 including 14 centuries and 12 half-centuries.
For a leg-spinner who bats a bit to the modern-day great that Smith has become, it is easier said than done. While he has better numbers in Tests than Kohli, he lacks behind in the other two formats. Considering the difference between him and Kohli in Tests as compared to the difference in limited-overs, one has to favour Kohli as the better overall batsman at this point in time.