Manchester: Australian run-machine Steve Smith has rated his great Indian rival Virat Kohli as the best ODI batsman in world cricket currently.
The two batsmen, who will face off in the upcoming Indian Premier League (IPL) and also during India's tour of Australia later this year, have been fierce rivals on the field but share cordial relations off it.
Smith, who is currently in England for the three-match ODI series against the hosts starting from Friday, said this during an Instagram session with fans.
When a fan asked the 31-year-old Australian to name the best ODI batsman, Smith had no hesitation in taking Kohli's name.
The Indian captain is currently the leading scorer in ODIs among active cricketers with 11,867 runs at an average of 59.34. He has 43 hundreds to his name and is only seven away from surpassing Sachin Tendulkar's world record for most hundreds in ODIs.
During the session, Smith described Kohli's RCB teammate and South African great AB de Villiers as a "freak".
Smith, who is set to represent Rajasthan Royals in IPL 2020, said India's KL Rahul and Sanju Samson are the two players to watch out for.
About his Rajasthan Royals teammate Jos Buttler, who has been in terrific form in the recently-concluded T20I series against Australia, Smith said, "Terrific player. Hopefully, no runs against us this week then he can score as many as he likes in the IPL."
Smith will join the Rajasthan Royals squad in UAE after the ODI series against England ends on 16 September.
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Punjab were poised for an easy win as they needed just four runs from the last over but the 20-year-old from Uttar Pradesh changed the game with his accurate bowling.
Whether Kohli took the decision to quit T20I captaincy to purely manage the workload or the criticism got to him will remain a mystery for a while, but all things considered, it appears a bold move that should only benefit Indian cricket and him.
Check out some of the best photos from Sunrisers Hyderabad's seven-wicket win over the Rajasthan Royals in match 40 of IPL 2021.