Australian batsman David Warner is the latest cricket personality to compare countryman Steven Smith with Indian captain Virat Kohli.
Smith and Kohli currently occupy first and second position, respectively, in the International Cricket Council's rankings for Test batsmen. Kohli is in first place and Smith 21st in the ICC's rankings for ODI batsmen.
“When it comes to cricket, they both have got the mental strength, the mental capacity to score runs. They both love spending time in the middle. Virat's passion and drive to score runs is different to what Steve's would be,” Warner told Cricbuzz.
“Steve is going out there for a hit in the middle, that's how he sees things. He's hitting them out in the middle, he's having fun, he's enjoying himself, just does not want to get out. Virat obviously doesn't want to get out but he knows if he spends a certain amount of time out there he's going to score plenty of runs at a rapid rate. He's going to get on top of you. That allows the guys coming in, especially in the Indian team you've got a lot of players who can be flamboyant as well.
“They stabilise, they boost morale – if they score runs, everyone else's moral is up. If they are out cheaply you almost sense that on the field that everyone is down on morale and thinking now we all have to step up. It's a very bizarre situation.
Warner, Kohli and Smith in the IPL
Warner, Smith and Kohli are part of the Sunrisers Hyderabad, Rajasthan Royals and Royal Challenger Bangalore squads in the Indian Premier League. Warner was recently reappointed Hyderabad captain, resuming the reins from New Zealand batsman Kane Williamson. This year's edition of the IPL, however, has been suspended indefinitely as a preventative measure against the spread of the coronavirus pandemic.
“Our friendship and relationship is very, very good. Kane is obviously a very humble guy, he's pretty quiet. We spend a lot of time together when we're at the IPL. I had a phone call with him, a good conversation with him when he was going to take over as captain,” added Warner.