Australia’s player of the series in the Ashes Steve Smith became the highest run-scorer in a single Test series in the 21st century, finishing with a mammoth 774 runs at a Bradmanesque average of 110.57 from the four matches he played.
The world number one batsman was in phenomenal form during the Ashes, hitting three hundreds, including one double ton, in the four Tests.
There has always been a debate over the best batsman between Steve Smith and the Indian skipper Virat Kohli. Though there are many experts, who found it tough to give an answer, But when former South African cricketer Jonty Rhodes was asked to choose between Steve Smith and Virat Kohli, the 50-year-old picked Indian captain Virat Kohli as the best batsman in world cricket right now.
India skipper Kohli hits centuries like he is taking a walk in the park and while not many thought that Tendulkar’s record of 100 centuries would get overtaken anytime soon. On the other hand, Steve Smith is doing incredible works in Test format of the game. He knocked runs for fun in the recently concluded Ashes series.
Speaking of the comparisons Jonty Rhodes of South Africa quoted that he would love to watch Virat Kohli play the game. He believes the Indian skipper is a treat to watch and one of the consistent performers across the formats for India.
Then he felt that Steve Smith makes ugliest centuries with his different technique. However, he praised Smith for his incredible consistency.
“I enjoy watching Virat Kohli. Steve Smith, with that action and technique, makes the ugliest hundreds I have ever seen but the man just keeps scoring runs.” Someone who likes to watch cricket would want to say ‘Wow! What an amazing shot’ as opposed to ‘Oh! How on earth can he hit that?’ So Virat Kohli right now,” Rhodes, who was in India as the ambassador for the Covelong festival, told Indian Express during an interaction.
Further, he was asked to pick one between Ravindra Jadeja and Martin Guptill. Though Rhodes called Jadeja as an X-factor to be in the team, he believes that there would be only a few cricketers, who can come close to Martin Guptill, who can field at slip cordon and also near the boundary ropes.
“Jadeja doesn’t get enough cricket time. Guptill is playing every game. Guptill is great in the slips, great in the covers, great in the boundaries. He is a great all-round fielder, Jadeja has got the X factor. There are really good fielders out there but Guptill for me stands out,” the fielding legend said.
Recently, Jonty Rhodes has applied for the fielding coach role in Indian National Cricket Team. However, the selectors felt that the current coach has done reasonably well, which drew curtains on the hopes of Jonty Rhodes. Currently, he is looking on the screens for the series between India and South Africa.
Asked to pick between Rabada and Jasprit Bumrah, the 50-year-old said, “It depends on what you want to do. If you want to knock people down at the start of the game then Rabada, but if you are looking to defend, then Bumrah as he is a specialist.”
Rhodes also revealed that he remained in touch with former South African cricket captain Hansie Cronje even after he was banned from international cricket for life after a match-fixing scandal.
“Hansie was somebody whom I had grown up with from the age of 13 playing against each other in various state-level teams. So Hansie and I were really close. Even after his ban for match-fixing, I spent a lot of time with him,” he added.
(Via: New Indian Express)