Virat Kohli vs Steve Smith – Who Is Better Overall?

Virat Kohli and Steve Smith India vs Australia 2015 Border Gavaskar Series

Virat Kohli and Steve Smith – Two Modern Day Superstars

Virat Kohli and Steve Smith the modern-day greats, the stalwarts of batsmanship. One is the epitome of perfection and the other of perseverance. When it comes to ODI’s and T20’s there is not any comparison. Kohli has left his compeer miles behind. The statistical analysis is going to prove it.

Virat Kohli and Steve Smith are the two best test batsmen in the world in 2020 test match cricket
SYDNEY, AUSTRALIA – JANUARY 10: Australian captain Steve Smith shakes hands with Virat Kohli of India after winning the series during day five of the Fourth Test match between Australia and India at Sydney Cricket Ground on January 10, 2015 in Sydney, Australia. (Photo by Cameron Spencer/Getty Images)

Virat Kohli vs Steve Smith

Competition Test ODI T20I FC
Matches 86 248 82 118
Runs scored 7,240 11,867 2,794 9489
Batting average 53.63 59.34 50.80 53.9
100s/50s 27/22 43/58 0/24 34/30
Top score 254* 183 94* 254*


Now let us take a look at Steve Smith’s record.

Competition Test ODI T20I FC
Matches 73 125 39 131
Runs scored 7,227 4,162 681 11,707
Batting average 62.84 42.46 29.60 58
100s/50s 26/29 9/25 0/4 42/49
Top score 239 164 90 239


Critical Points :

Virat Kohli and Steve Smith
MELBOURNE, AUSTRALIA – DECEMBER 28: Virat Kohli (L) of India leaps as he celebrates after reaching his century as Steven Smith of Australia looks on during day three of the Third Test match between Australia and India at Melbourne Cricket Ground on December 28, 2014 in Melbourne, Australia. (Photo by Scott Barbour/Getty Images)

The crucial debate lies in the test area, here Smith seems to edge past the Indian Captain. However, there are some points to be taken note of :

  1. Virat Kohli’s batting average is far greater than Steve Smith in Asia, Kohli averaging 63.96 while Smith 48
  2. Virat Kohli has more double centuries than Steve Smith in test Cricket and better Conversion Ratio to centuries.
  3. But Steve Smith is the undisputed king when it comes to overseas record, he averages 57 to Virat’s 44.

Also, Read Steve Smith – The Twitcher Who’s Unmoved Under Pressure. , Sai Akhil

ANALYSIS Virat Kohli vs Steve Smith :

Steve Smith bats at number three in tests for Australia while Virat Kohli at number four for the Indian team. Australia boasts of David Warner as one of the best test openers of his times, India, on the other hand, have been lacking in this area. No permanent, established test opener for a year or so. We have been experimenting with Shaw, Mayank, Dhawan, Murali Vijay without having proper answers. What impact does it create? Plenty!

A good solid opening lays the foundation for the batters to follow, takes the shine of the new ball, makes the opponent think out of the box, often leading to crumbled strategy. India had a woeful run of openers for quite a while in test cricket(especially overseas) this exposes the middle order early against lethal swing bowling, pressuring the whole line up. This has also affected Virat’s batting in the tests, to be honest. It is well known that Dravid and Tendulkar’s test figures soared once Sehwag came to the fore.

SYDNEY, AUSTRALIA – JANUARY 08: Virat Kohli of India and Steve Smith of Australia levae the ground at stumps during day three of the Fourth Test match between Australia and India at Sydney Cricket Ground on January 8, 2015 in Sydney, Australia. (Photo by Ryan Pierse – CA/Cricket Australia via Getty Images/Getty Images)

Steve Smith hogged the limelight with electric performances in Ashes and the Border Gavaskar Trophy. Virat too had an amazing 2018-19 tour of England but the difference lied in result, Australia had a better outing against England than India. Virat’s horrid time in England during the 2014 tour to England has also effected his record severely. India was not the same test team (overseas) in 2014 as it was in 2018. Under Virat’s Captaincy, there has been a paradigm shift, especially in the fast bowling department, Taking the game to the opposition is what the Captain believes in and the results prove this. His batting stats are also far ahead of Smith in South Africa where the batsmen find quite tough to get going.


It is a matter of personal choice here, fine margins to separate these two. There cannot be any unanimous decision regarding this but if you ask me I would always pay to watch Virat rather than Smith in tests, Smith’s batting is quite unorthodox while Virat’s style is traditional. The Indian test team achieved greater heights during his captaincy and batting prime, Australia had to deal with the  Sandpaper scandal during Smith’s tenure. So Virat Kohli is slightly ahead of Steve Smith for me, the choice is yours to make now.

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