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‘Kohli is best only because Smith is not there!’

If not the best, Virat Kohli is undoubtedly one of the best batsmen in the world, nevertheless, Ricky Ponting has doubts regarding the fact, said, Kohli is regarded as the best batsman now only because Steven Smith’s unfortunate absence from cricket, passing the punishment stage for his involvement in ball tampering.

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The former Australian captain during a talk with Channel Seven, said, “Right now, he (Kohli) is because Steve Smith is not there.”(But) if Steve Smith was playing now, I’d have him as the number one player in the world.”

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“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),” Ponting said.

“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,” he said.

Smith was banned for a year by Cricket Australia for his role in the ball tampering scandal.

Steven Smith, so far has smashed 23 Test hundreds at an average of 61.37. The Indian skipper, on the other hand, hit 21 Test hundreds at an average of 53.40.

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