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Virat Kohli vs Steve Smith (What to Watch Out for in 2022)

Virat Kohli and Steve Smith are among the best batsmen in the world for quite some time now. In fact, they are two of the standout cricketers of the past decade. Kohli, earmarked for greatness right from his U19 days (when he led India to a U19 World Cup in 2008), has more than lived up to his potential. Smith, on the other hand, started his career as a leg spinner but has since transformed into a modern-day batting great. Understandably, there has always been a rivalry between these two batting behemoths, with fans and pundits dividing opinions. Let’s try and make a comparison.
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steve smith vs virat kohli: Stats in ODI, T20I and Test cricket

virat kohli vs steve smith in T20Is:

Stats Virat Kohli Steve Smith
Matches 97 54
Innings 89 43
Runs 3296 886
Highest Score 94* 90
Batting Average 51.50 26.06
Strike Rate 137.68 125.32
Wickets 4 17
Catches 43 39
Virat Kohli is miles ahead in terms of T20I numbers against Steve Smith. He is a better batsman across all parameters in T20Is as the numbers clearly suggest, with a mind-boggling average of over 50.

steve smith vs virat kohli stats in ODIs:

Stats Virat Kohli Steve Smith
Matches 260 128
Innings 251 113
Runs 12,311 4378
Highest Score 183 164
Centuries 43 11
Batting Average 58.07 43.35
Strike Rate 92.92 88.50
Wickets 4 28
Catches 137 70
Virat Kohli is arguably one of the finest ODI players of all time. His records are a testament to this fact. Among batsmen who have scored more than 10,000 runs, Kohli’s average is the highest by a country mile and he is very close to breaking Sachin Tendulkar’s record of scoring the most ODI 100s. Smith’s numbers are also very good in ODIs but they definitely pale in comparison to Virat Kohli.
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virat kohli vs steve smith in test

Stats Virat Kohli Steve Smith
Matches 99 82
Innings 168 147
Runs 7962 7784
Highest Score 254* 239
Batting Average 50.39 59.88
Centuries 27 27
Double centuries 7 3
Wickets 0 18
Catches 100 134
Virat Kohli is one of the rare few batsmen who average more than 50 across all three formats. But when it comes to Tests, Steve Smith overshadows the Indian. Smith’s numbers are sensational in red-ball cricket. Not to mention the fact that he has picked up a few wickets with his part-time leg-spin for Australia and is a very reliable slip fielder.

Kohli vs Smith: Who is the better batsman ?

Kohli won the ICC Player of the Decade [2010-19] award for his consistent brilliance across formats. He is a World Cup winner (2011), and a Champions Trophy (2013) winner. A fearsome batsman, Kohli is untouchable in the shortest formats of the game.
Steve Smith has been simply sensational for Australia in Tests since 2014. The two-time World Cup winner averaged over 70 for five years between 2014-19 and was rightly awarded the ICC Test Player of the Decade [2010-19] for his sheer brilliance in the longest format of the game.
The stats and achievements clearly show Kohli’s dominance in white-ball cricket. He is a better batsman than Steve Smith in limited-overs cricket.
However, Smith is a run-machine in Tests. He has unbelievable numbers for Australia and is clearly the dominant batsman over Kohli when it comes to Tests.

What are Virat Kohli’s batting and bowling styles?

Virat Kohli is a right-handed batsman who occasionally bowls right-arm medium pace. He generally bats at No.3 in limited-overs cricket and at No.4 in Tests.

What are Steve Smith’s batting and bowling styles?

Steve Smith is a right-handed batsman and a part-time right-arm wrist spinner. He generally bats at No.4 across all formats for Australia.

Steve smith vs Virat Kohli captaincy record In T20Is:

As a captain Virat Kohli Steve Smith
Matches 50 8
Won 30 4
Lost 16 4
Tied/NR 4 0
Win % 60% 50%
Kohli led India to series wins in England, South Africa, New Zealand, and Australia. He is also India’s second most successful T20I captain.
Steve Smith captained Australia in only 8 T20Is.

Kohli vs Steve Smith In ODIs:

As a captain Virat Kohli Steve Smith
Matches 95 51
Won 65 25
Lost 27 23
Tied/NR 3 3
Win % 70.43% 52.08%
India made it to the finals of Champions Trophy 2017 and semifinals of the 2019 ODI World Cup under Virat Kohli.
Smith does not have a stellar record as ODI captain when compared to Kohli.

In Tests:

As a captain Virat Kohli Steve Smith
Matches 68 35
Won 40 19
Lost 17 10
Drew 11 6
NR 0 0
Win % 58.82% 54.29%
Kohli led India to its maiden series win in Australia in 2018-19. He led India to successive series wins in Sri Lanka and West Indies.
Smith also led Australia well, averaging 70.37 with the bat as Test captain. However, Kohli’s captaincy record in Tests is unparalleled among his contemporaries.

In IPL:

As a captain Virat Kohli Steve Smith
Matches 140 42
Won 66 25
Lost 70 16
Tied/NR 4 1
Win % 47.14% 59.52%
While Kohli has been leading Royal Challengers Bangalore for a long time in the IPL, he has never managed to lead them to the title. Smith also hasn’t managed to win the IPL as captain, though he did lead Rising Pune Supergiants to the final in 2017.

Leadership style: Kohli vs Smith

Kohli’s captaincy was defined by his aggressive body language. The Indian team never took a backseat under Kohli, especially in Tests. He was an attacking captain and always encouraged his bowlers to look for wickets. However, he was not known for being a proactive leader.
Meanwhile, Steve Smith’s captaincy was less aggressive than Kohli’s but he did show great flair in his leadership. He commanded respect from his players and always coaxed the best out of his wards.

IPL performances: Kohli vs Smith

Stats Virat Kohli Steve Smith
Matches 207 103
Runs 6283 2485
Highest Score 113 101
Average 37.39 34.51
Strike Rate 129.94 128.09
50s/100s 42/5 11/1
Catches 85 53
Wickets 4 0
Kohli is IPL’s highest run-getter and the only batsman to have crossed the 6000-run mark. His standout season was 2016, in which he scored 973 runs and four centuries, both league records.
Steve Smith has had moderate success in the IPL. He does have a century to his name in IPL. But his lack of form in this format of late saw him snubbed by IPL teams during the 2022 auction.

What is expected from Smith and Kohli in the 2022 season?

India are yet to win an ICC trophy across formats since 2013. Kohli will be expected to play a key role in India’s quest for silverware, with the T20 World Cup coming up later this year. Kohli last scored an international century in November 2019. Kohli will want to end this drought this year. In the IPL, having relinquished the captaincy, RCB will expect Kohli the batsman to step up and win them the elusive IPL title.
Steve Smith, much like Kohli, has also been suffering from a lean run of form. Australia will need Smith to fire big as they have many overseas assignments lined up. Smith will be hurting from his IPL snub. He will be eager to prove a point in the games leading up to the T20 World Cup.
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