Virat Kohli and Steve Smith aren’t merely special batsmen. These are batsmen who are are constantly locking horns and standing at the forefront of breaking world records. When they come out to bat, the cricketing world stops moving and they become the focus of everyone’s attention.
They are thoughts of as idols. They are expected to turn games at the back of one special knock.
Cricket, one may not be wrong to say, grows with the sporting achievements of Virat Kohli and Steve Smith. Their jobs as cricketers actually don’t merely end with scoring runs. When a Virat Kohli and Steve Smith pads up and turns to the 22 yards, miracles are expected to happen and one’s constantly sure that the crowd will be treated to pure magic the moment one sees them wield a bat.
Bowlers, upon seeing the likes of a Virat Kohli and Steve Smith turn to the batting pitch are served an invisible warning: that what’s to follow may not be too easy. That runs will flow and bowling attacks will be smashed.
And truth be told in the constant battles between Virat Kohli and Steve Smith, one always outscoring the other, regardless of where live-action takes place, the sport rises to a new level altogether.
Given their sheer talent and the singular ability to fill stadiums through the sheer weight of their popularity, Virat Kohli and Steve Smith, by virtue of representing two strong sporting cultures, are also constantly expected to be at their best.
Surely, while any of them can easily endure an off day, it often doesn’t strike the psyche of the cricket fan that beyond the hundreds, beyond the big scores, Virat Kohli and Steve Smith, are, mortals.
Yet, all of that said, here comes a piece of news that would surely raise the unreal expectations fans have in particular from Virat Kohli.
Apparently, Virat Kohli has replaced Steve Smith in the ICC Test Rankings. The ICC Test Rankings, of course, are a premier benchmark to measure the skill, caliber, and standing of the cricketing talents out there.
But that said, is it even surprising that Virat Kohli has replaced Steve Smith in the ICC Test championship? For starters, the magnificent Indian batsman, also the team’s all-format captain has had yet another fantastic year, doing something that has done previously, time and again.
After registering yet another special year with the bat, Virat Kohli, who recently became the first Indian batsman to score a Pink-Ball century (for his country) also performed exemplarily well in the other formats as well, changing gears with the swiftness of a man utterly in charge of his batting.
But where it comes to the longest format of the sport, a form Kohli has time and again admitted is central to measuring the true skill of any talent, there has been a flurry of hundreds, in particular, the unbeaten 254 against South Africa where Kohli’s heroics with the bat were far too challenging for the Proteas (under Faf du Plessis’ leadership) to counter.
Where it stands at the moment, then Virat Kohli’s own countryman, Cheteshwar Pujara is currently on the fourth spot on the rankings, while Ajinkya Rahane, who has had a fantastic year in terms of sheer Test Cricket consistency, finds himself on the sixth spot.
The Indian Express, noted Virat Kohli’s ascendency to the very top of the ICC Test rankings and happened to state:
The Indian skipper rode on his commanding century, 136, in the Kolkata day/night Test to close in on the previously top-ranked Steve Smith, and this successfully leapfrogging him. From 931 points, Smith has come down to 923, owing to the lack of runs in the recently concluded home series against Pakistan.