Australia legend Shane Warne rates Steve Smith as the best Test player in the world but says Virat Kohli is the best batsman overall.
Returning to Test cricket following a 12-month ban for ball-tampering, Smith has scored three centuries in four innings during the ongoing Ashes series in England.
The ex-Australia skipper averages more than 60 in the longer format and now has 26 centuries in only 67 Test matches.
‘As far as Test cricket goes, I would probably say it is a really tough one between Virat and Smith,’ Warne said.
‘But I think if I had to pick one batsman in Test cricket, it would be Smith, but if I lost that and had Virat, I would still be happy because he is a legend.’
Asked to name the best multi-format player on the planet, Warne told IANS: ‘I think Virat is the best batsman in the world.
‘I think if I had to pick one batsman across all formats, it would have to be Virat. Viv Richards was the greatest batsman I saw in ODI cricket and in all cricket probably.
‘But Virat is now the greatest ODI player that we have seen. He overtakes Viv for me.’
India captain Kohli boasts an extraordinary record in one-day cricket, amassing 43 centuries in his 239 matches at an average of more than 60.
‘I think he will break all records and I am a big fan of how he goes about his job and I have said that publicly as well,’ Warne continued.
‘I think Virat in all forms of the game is the best batsman in the world. I think he is a wonderful leader, too.
‘You are never the best version of yourself when you first start as captain and it generally takes a bit of time. I think he is growing into the role.
‘I love his passion and I think he is starting to get the balance between emotion, passion and being calm. I think he is also getting better tactically.’