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Ashes 209, ENG vs AUS: Can Virat Kohli Be The Steve Smith Of India When It Matters The Most, Ask Fans

Steve Smith scored a majestic hundred in his come-back Test match to help Australia fight back against England on Day 1 of the 2019 Ashes opener, thus reigniting the debate -- who's the best batsman in the world -- the former Aussie captain or Indian skipper Virat Kohli

Ashes 209, ENG vs AUS: Can Virat Kohli Be The Steve Smith Of India When It Matters The Most, Ask Fans
Virat Kohli and Steve Smith, along with Joe Root of England and Kane Williamson of New Zealand are considered the Big Four batsmen.
Ashes 209, ENG vs AUS: Can Virat Kohli Be The Steve Smith Of India When It Matters The Most, Ask Fans
outlookindia.com
2019-08-02T08:08:44+0530

Cricketing fraternity applauded former Australia captain Steven Smith, who became the second-fastest batsman to hit 24 Test centuries during Day 1 of the first Ashes 2019 Test against England in Birmingham on Thursday. But fans took the opportunity to compare Smith with Virat Kohli, with some even asking if the Indian captain can be the Steve Smith of India when it matters. (DAY 1 HIGHLIGHTS | SCORECARD

Kohli and Smith, along with Joe Root of England and Kane Williamson of New Zealand are considered the Big Four batsmen in the world cricket, and once one of them score a big score, fans start comparing their favourite against another, unjustifiably most of the time though. But in the case of Kohli and Smith, thanks to their history, fans find extra spice and waste no time in announcing the verdict.

Smith, 30, who was subjected to 'sandpaper' chants from a partisan Edgbaston crowd, relished the opportunity to quickly put his Test lay-off behind him with one of his best centuries in the longest format of the game against their traditional rivals.

Also Read: James Anderson Gives England Injury Scare

Opting to bat first, Australia were rocking on Day 1 of the Ashes opener either side of Smith's arrival at number four. Reduced to 122-8 with Stuart Broad dominating for England with a five-wicket haul, Smith shepherded the Aussie tail-enders with two brilliant stands of 88 and 74 runs with Peter Siddle and Nathan Lyon for the last two wickets respectively.

Smith, playing for the first time since his 12-month ban for his role in the ball-tampering scandal, kept plugging away and the result was a magnificent knock of 144 off 219 balls, dragging Australia back to 284 all out.

Also Read: 'Kohli's Opinion Needs To Be Respected'

In the process, he surpassed the likes of Kohli, Sachin Tendulkar and Sunil Gavaskar to score 24 Test centuries in the fewest number of innings. This was Smith's 118th Test innings -- second fastest after Donald Bradman (66 innings).

And soon fans, pundits and former players took to social media platforms to hail the right-handed batsman's knock.

Former India opener Virender Sehwag took to Twitter and wrote, "What a 100 for Steve Smith. Under difficult conditions, arguably one of the best batsman in Test Cricket. #Ashes."

Former English cricketer Michael Vaughan also praised Smith's hundred.

"One of the all-time Outstanding Test Innings ... To do that in his 1st Innings back in Test Cricket is remarkable ... Sometimes you have to admire greatness ... @stevesmith49 is some player ... #Ashes," Vaughan tweeted.

"100 for Steve Smith!What a knock! It's his 24th Test ton - is it his finest?#Ashes," ICC wrote on Twitter.

Ex-Indian cricketer Aakash Chopra wrote, "Steve Smith is being Smith. The old Fighting-it-Out-Smith. How much did Australia miss him in Tests!!! But leave that aside for a moment....how brilliant Siddle has been?? Superb fightback. #TheAshes."

"Really was an extraordinary inning from Steve Smith in his comeback Test, an innings full of guts, intensity, and tenacity. From 122/8, he has taken Australia to 284. #Ashes," another former cricketer VVS Laxman wrote.

Here are some fan reactions:

India will take on the West Indies in a two-match Test series later in the month. And Kohli, who has 25 Test hundreds from 131 innings, will be eager to prove his worth against, especially after a poor World Cup.

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