Former Indian opener Gautam Gambhir feels that Australian star batsman Steve Smith is no less than Indian skipper Virat Kohli in 50 overs format when considering his performance in the previous two ODIs against India.
Steve Smith has been in a great form in the last two ODIs he played against India. In the first ODI, he scored 62-ball hundred and followed it with an identical ton in the 2nd ODI on Sunday with a 64-ball 104.
Gambhir said that Smith has been unbelievable with the way he performed in the last two ODIs. He further said batting in the middle overs against the Indian spinners is not easy but Steve Smith has done it twice and got back-to-back hundreds in the ODI series.
Thanks to Smith’s century innings, Australia managed to put up a mammoth target of 374 in the 1st ODI and 389 in the second ODI against India. With the 51-runs win in the second ODI, Australia has taken an unassailable lead in the series against India.
“Steve Smith has found something against India which India hasn’t found against him. Yes, he was absolutely correct when he said he has found his hands,” Gambhir told ESPNCricinfo.
“He got his hundred in 18 overs. He came into bat at the 20th over and got his hundred in the 38th over. In 18 overs, you get your own hundred and that’s probably the toughest phase to bat as well where the ball is little older, you have got two spinners.
“This is pure class. He is not far away from Virat Kohli. We keep talking about Virat Kohli, is Virat Kohli the best ODI batter in the world ever? Smith is not that far behind. Getting a hundred in 18 overs and getting 2 back-to-back hundreds in 18 overs is no joke.
“Yes, Virat Kohli will always have better numbers, there is a huge difference in numbers but look at the impact Smith has had in the last 2 games. It’s unbelievable!”
Going To Be Tough For India: Gautam Gambhir
At the same time, Gambhir said that Kohli led India will have a tough time in Australia if they don’t find a way to trouble Steve Smith.
“It’s going to be tough for India, even in the 3rd game and probably going forward as well. This is just the start of a long tour, if India don’t find something to get Smith out, it’s going to be a long, long tour for the bowlers because he has a huge appetite for runs. It’s just the start now, once he goes into the Test format in this kind of form, if he gets in, it’s going to be trouble times for India,” Gambhir said.