Virat Kohli and Mohammad Amir have been quite open about their mutual respect and admiration. The Indian skipper had even described the Pakistani left-arm pacer as “one of the toughest bowlers I have played in my career”. Responding to Kohli’s remarks at the time, Amir had said he was floored with the India captain’s assessment of his bowling and called Kohli “the best”.
However, in his latest interview, Amir has revealed that disgraced Australian cricketer Steve Smith is in fact the toughest batsman to bowl to.
When asked who is the most difficult batsman to bowl to in the current era? Amir, in a rapid-fire interview with ESPNCricinfo, said: “Steven Smith”.
While Smith, who was banned by Cricket Australia for 12 months for his role in the ball-tampering scandal in South Africa, has been head and shoulders above the rest in Test cricket, there is no player that comes close to Kohli’s scoring spree in the limited overs formats.
In 64 Tests, Smith has scored 6,199 runs at an average of 61.38 with 23 centuries to his name. Virat Kohli, in comparison, has played 66 Tests, scoring 5,554 runs at an average of 53.4 with 21 hundreds in his kitty.
However, in ODIs and T20Is, Kohli is light years ahead of Smith. The Indian skipper has played 208 ODIs, scoring a whopping 9,588 runs at an average of 58.11 with 35 centuries to his name. In T20Is, Kohli is yet to hit a century but that has not stopped him from plundering 2,012 runs in 60 matches at an average of 49.07.
Smith’s limited-over stats provide a pale reading when compared to Kohli’s. The former Australia captain has scored 3,431 runs in 108 ODIs at an average of 41.84 with just eight hundreds.
Smith has scored just 431 runs in 30 T20Is at a poor average of 21.55.