Former Zimbabwe cricketer and current commentator Pommie Mbangwa had numerous chats with some big names on Instagram Live and former Australia pacer Brett Lee was his latest guest. One question that is a cornerstone of Mbangwa’s chat is when he asks his guests to choose between two of the game’s current greats — Virat Kohli and Steve Smith.
This time was no different as Mbangwa put Brett Lee on the spot and asked him the million dollars question. Lee decided, to his credit, to not sit on the fence and while he was full of praise for both batting stars, he said, “at the moment”, he would pick Smith over Kohli.
Explaining why he chose Smith instead of Kohli, Lee said, “Look, it is so hard to pick because there are a lot of qualities in both that I enjoy. I try and look at from the bowling point of view, are there any flaws that I would try and exploit and there are very little.”
Speaking about the Indian skipper Virat Kohli, the 43-year old former Aussie pacer said, “They are two different players. You think about Kohli, technically sound, hits through the V. He used to knick off a number of years ago, but tightened that up and doesn’t knick off as much now and is a lot more disciplined. Super fit, a great lead of his side. Kohli is definitely right up there.”
On the other hand, Steve Smith lead the Australian side until he was suspended for 12 months over a ball-tampering incident under his watch in 2018 during a Test match in South Africa. The incident is known as the Sandpaper Gate incident wherein- David Warner, Cameron Bancroft alongside Steve Smith got suspended.
Smith emerged strongly after a year in exile and left his mark, as Australia won the 2019 Ashes. Smith was England’s top scorer with a whopping 774 runs in four matches in the Ashes.
Praising about Smith, Lee said, “Steve Smith has been through a lot in the last couple of years, that rise back to stardom with the way he has played over the last 12 months. He is a different batsman as well, very flamboyant, he is so fidgety, ‘just relax that’s what you think to him’ but that’s what makes him the player he is.”
Lee then said, “At the moment, I would go with Steven Smith because of what he has actually been through. You ask me this tomorrow and I might go Kohli. They are so hard to split mate, like splitting hairs and they are two great players.”
In conclusion, he said, “He (Smith) could have been as good as (Don) Bradman and still maybe that. He’s had some time out of the game but he was talked about him doing as well as Bradman in terms of his numbers.”