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Clash of the prodigies

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Virat_Kohli_Steve_Smith_India_Australia_CricketThe most anticipated series of the year is around the corner. We will soon witness two of the best teams compete against each other in the best and oldest format of cricket. Fighting for respect and glory, Australia will be paying a visit to India for a grueling and tough tour of four Test matches. It looks to be a clash of the titans. It seems like the best of the best from two armies are going into a green battlefield.

Sledging is going to be on an all-time high this tour. The Australians have always been famous for sledging and their old habits won’t fade away easily. The thing to look forward to is Virat Kohli captaining India and leading them against Steve Smith’s Australia.

The last time India visited Australia, there was sledging all around. The contest was healthy, and although Australia were dominant, but Kohli never backed away. He didn’t even try to back away. He stood in the face of the Australians and sledged them right back. He gave it back and pumped up his team to give it back themselves.

This series promises a lot of such entertainment, though hopefully no brawls; only sledging and a healthy contest. Along with all this, it promises an explosion of runs from the best batsmen around the world like Warner, Smith, Kohli, Rahane among others. It promises some athletic fielding and most probably a display of spin never seen before by Ashwin and Jadeja, and just maybe by Australia’s spinners, like Nathan Lyon and Steve O’Keefe.

A series like this must not be missed, for it is filled with highly thrilling dramatic action.

It is pretty much head to head between Kohli and Smith. Both are young, both have marked their presence on the international stage at the same time, and both of them got the captaincy at almost the same time. Both are almost the same age.

That both of them are phenomenal is justified by their numbers, and that is probably why they are captaining their sides at such a young age. The stats also show that they go pretty much head to head, as players and as captains.

We all know their records as individuals, but looking at them during the captaincy period gives a much clearer of view of their true potential, true abilities and their true spark. It also gives an overview of how they have dominated even more in the period when they have captained.

Below is a comparison of Virat and Smith during their respective captaincies. They pretty much run head to head: almost the same number of matches, innings and runs. One main difference comes is that Smith averages higher than Kohli as a captain at almost 74, and Kohli around 67. It is not bad for Kohli, but Smith’s is impressive.

Both of them have scored the same number of hundreds – 9. Kohli has been much better in converting his centuries into doubles centuries though. He has converted four of his nine hundreds into double tons, a conversion rate of almost 50%. It means he scored a double almost every other time he crossed the three-figure mark. Smith has no doubles as skipper, the closest being his 192 against India at the MCG in 2014.

Virat Kohli

Performance As Captain

Steve Smith

 
 

23

Matches

20

 

37

Innings

35

 

2353

Runs

2212

 

2

Not Outs

5

 

67.23

Average

73.73

 

4

50s

9

 

9

100s

9

 

4

200s

0

 

0

Ducks

1

 

235

Highest Score

192

 

                         
Comparing the captaincy shows almost the same story as before. They are pretty much neck & neck, only that this time Kohli is a bit ahead of Smith. Both have played around the same number of matches, so the sample size is pretty much the same. The difference is that Kohli has won 15 of the 23 he’s captained and lost only two while drawing six. Steve Smith on the other hand, has won 11 out of 20, losing five and drawing four.

These statistics give Kohli a win percentage of 65 to Smith’s 55, and a win loss ratio of 7.5 to Smith’s much less impressive 2.2. It is the number of losses under Smith’s captaincy that has made the difference, and that is where Kohli takes the lead and knocks out Smith.

Virat Kohli

Captaincy Record

Steve Smith

 
 

23

Matches

20

 

15

Won

11

 

2

Lost

5

 

0

Tied

0

 

6

Draw

4

 

7.5

Win/Loss Ratio

2.2

 

65.22

Win Percentage

55

 

The bottom line is that this is going to be a nail biting battle between these two world class sides. The only indicator that India will be dominant is that the series is taking place in India, and the tracks are going to turn and turn a lot.

So India are clear favorites, but one can never count out Australia.

 

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I am a cricket maniac. My favorite player is Virat Kohli. I play a bit too. I like to analyse and w...

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