Ian Smith, the legendary New Zealand commentator, has lavished praises on Indian skipper Virat Kohli and limited-overs vice-captain Rohit Sharma. Virat is set to lead the national side in the two-match Test series, starting February 21 with the opening match at the Basin Reserve in Wellington. In the ODI and T20I series, he couldn’t live up to the standards he set for himself over the years.
Rohit, on the other hand, finished the Super Over off Tim Southee in the Hamilton T20I with a couple of massive sixes. However, the Mumbai batsman tweaked his calf in the same series and missed the ODI series. He won’t be a part of the Test series either and was replaced by Shubman Gill.
The 62-year-old Smith reckons that their style of play makes them two of the most beautiful batters to the modern era. “Two of the most beautiful batsmen I can think of in the current era are Rohit Sharma and Virat Kohli,” Smith, who played 63 Tests and 98 Tests for the Black Caps from 1980-1982, was quoted as saying in Xtra Time.
Smith expects Virat to shine in Test series
Though Virat hasn’t put his best foot forward in the New Zealand tour, Smith believes that the 31-year-old would churn out a few big scores if not a whole lot. “I expect VK to score one- maybe two- very big innings in the test series,” Smith stated. The second and final Test gets underway on February 29 at the Hagley Oval in Christchurch.
Smith also stated that the current Indian team is the best when it comes to their power-packed bowling attack. “This is the best Indian team- with regards to bowling attack- that case come to NZ,” he added. In the last few Tests, the Indian pacers, Jasprit Bumrah, Mohammed Shami, Umesh Yadav and Ishant Sharma have ruffled a few feathers while the spinners have taken a backseat.
In the World Test Championship, India are the top-ranked team with 360 points courtesy victories in all their seven matches. The Kiwis, on the contrary, are languishing sixth in the table with 60 points from five matches.
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