Former Australia skipper Ricky Ponting has said that India‘s Virat Kohli is the best batsman operating currently in the world of cricket. However, the Australian believes compatriot Steve Smith would be worthy of that accolade had he not been handed a one-year ban by Cricket Australia.
The ‘Punter’ was asked to pick his current best batsman in the world during Channel Seven’s launch of the cricket season.
“Right now, he (Virat Kohli) is because Steve Smith is not there,” Ponting was quoted as saying by cricket.com.au.
“But if Steve Smith was playing now, I’d have him as the number one player in the world.
“That’s how high in regard I hold Steve Smith – what he’s done the last three or four years with his game and (he’s been) able to lead an Australian team to so many wins the way he has batted.”
“The Ashes summer last year was just some of the best and purest batting as you’re ever going to see. To do it on the big stage in an Ashes series, and to do it on the first day of an Ashes series when it counts the most, says a lot about him,” Ponting added.
Smith has been away from international cricket ever since the ball-tampering scandal that erupted at Cape Town during Australia’s tour of South Africa earlier this year.
The-then Australia skipper was handed a one-year ban from international and domestic cricket by Cricket Australia with his deputy David Warner receiving the same punishment. Protagonist of the saga Cameron Bancroft meanwhile, was handed a nine-month ban for his role.
Smith and Warner have both been in action lately in the inaugural Global T20 Canada league.
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