Virat Kohli or Steve Smith - who is the better batsman across formats at the moment? The fans, cricket pundits and analysts continue to debate over who is the top player in modern-day cricket. Kohli and Smith continue to break records after records in ever series they play, and always showcase their talent with the bat on the biggest stage. In a recent interview Australia limited-overs captain Aaron Finch was asked to weigh in on who is the better batsman between Smith and Kohli. In his reply, Finch talked about all the three formats, and explained how Kohli and Smith are two of the best batsmen, irrespective of formats.
"I think in Test cricket, Virat and Smith's record at home and in away games is unbelievable. Virat had a tough series a few years ago in England against James Anderson. But then he came back to England in 2018 and dominated the series. Smith has never really struggled anywhere, to be fair. He is an unbelievable Test player. The most impressive thing about both of them which probably separates and puts them above anyone else is that how dominant they are all over the world," Finch was quoted as saying in an interview to Sports Tak.
"It's one thing to dominate in your country, at wickets you are comfortable in. To do it all around the world is extraordinary. Sometimes they get out early, but that's just cricket. But they very rarely miss out, and when they go, they go big," he added.
Steve Smith is currently the no. 1 batsman in Test cricket at the moment according to ICC Rankings, while Virat Kohli is at the 2nd spot. Finch believes Smith has a slight edge over Kohli in the longest format. "I think Smith just has an edge in Test cricket. Virat's probably has played on wickets that has deteriorated a lot quicker when the ball started spinning big, and going a little bit lower a bit more often," he said.
"Smith in Test cricket is unbelievable, I think his game plan is so well, he's so good at," Finch added.
Comparing the two batting greats in ODIs, Finch said that Virat, by the time he retires will be the best ODI cricketer of all-time. "I think overall, Virat, by the time he finishes his career, will be the best ODI cricketer of all-time, if he isn't already. Playing against him for so long is difficult, but it's also beautiful. It's like playing against anyone who is the best of the best, regardless of whether it's Virat, Rohit, or David Warner or Kane Williamson. When they are on, it's great to watch," the right-handed batsman said.
"It's frustrating to play against them, but it's still so good to watch them. You admire their batting, while you are competing. Virat will be the best ODI player of all-time by the time he finishes, if he isn't already. Sachin (Tendulkar) got more 100s and more runs, but the way he constructs run chases and scores 100s while chasing is extraordinary," Finch said.
Comparing Smith and Kohli in T20Is, Finch said that Kohli has an edge over the Aussie batsman, but added the versatility in both the players make them a dangerous opponent in the shortest format. "In T20Is, Virat has an edge over Smith because he has played more in this format. But the versatility of both the players in the format, to be able to be the guy who anchors the innings, and take the team home, or come out and be really aggressive. That ultra-aggressive game, that really high strike innings from ball one... it really sets them apart from a lot of players in the world," Finch said.
"In all three formats, at any surface, they adapt really quickly. You'd pick either of them in any of the teams, because they get the job done and they are bloody good," he added.