Former Indian cricketer Gautam Gambhir has conceded that Australian star batsman Steve Smith is steadily catching up with Virat Kohli and is not ‘that far away’ from him in the ODI format.
Since the time Smith has recovered from his injury and performed in the IPL, he has found a new rhythm. In the opening matches of India versus Australia three-match ODI series, Steve Smith performed at his best.
The unstoppable batsman smashed centuries in both the matches, scoring 105 and 104 runs respectively. With these, the 31-year old batsman has completed 11 ODI centuries. His knocks played an instrumental role in helping Australia set up mammoth targets of 350+ runs for the visitors in the matches. India failed to chase down the target on both occasions. Resultantly, Australia has taken an unbeatable 2-0 lead in the series.
Speaking to ESPN Cricinfo, the ex-Indian opener said, “He’s found something against India which India hasn’t found any against Steve Smith, to be honest. He was absolutely correct that he has found his hands. But then he got his hundred in 18 overs and actually came into bat at the 20th over and reached three figures by the 38th over. In 18 overs, you get your own hundred. And that’s probably the toughest place to bat as well when the ball keeps turning, you’ve got two spinners and you got four fielders outside the circle.”
“This is pure class and is not far away from Virat Kohli. We keep talking about Virat Kohli as the best ODI batter in the world but Steve Smith is not that far. Getting a hundred in 18 overs and getting two back to back hundreds in 60 balls is no joke. Yes, Virat Kohli has better numbers but look at the impact Steve Smith has had in the last two games. Unbelievable!” Gambhir said commenting on the impact Smith has had in the matches.
According to Gambhir, if Smith maintains his current form, he is going to give India a tough time even in the Test. And so, the Indian team needs to get their act together and focus primarily on their bowling.
After concluding their ODI series on December 3rd, both teams will gear up for the three-match T20I series. The series will get rolling on December 4. They will then head to Adelaide for their day-night Test. The four-match Test series between the two teams will be a part of the World Test Championship.