Without any doubt, Virat Kohli and Steve Smith are considered current-generation GOATS of their respective Test team. Whenever India and Australia lock horns to play a Test match, the hype for the Virat vs Steve clash always has a separate fan base.
Virat Praises Steve Smith Over His WTC 2023 Final Knock
The expectations build owing to their massive records with the bat for their teams in the Test format. Both teams were scheduled to play the World Test Championship 2023 final from June 7 to 11 in Kennington Oval, London.
The Virat vs Steve gets pumped in a tremendous way ahead of the WTC 2023 final game. Steve Smith and Head in their first inning scored a century(each) and boosted Australia’s score past 450.
With the hundred, Steve Smith moves to the second position in the list of most centuries in tests between India and Australia and stands behind the legend Sachin Tendulkar.
On the other hand, Virat Kohli failed to make an impact and was dismissed cheaply for 14 runs. During the 19th over of India’s first inning, a bouncing short ball from Starc struck the shoulder of Virat’s bat and slips into the hands of Steve Smith at the second slip and makes him walk back to the pavilion.
Starc’s cross-seam delivery kicked off the surface with some extra bounce and took Virat Kohli by surprise. Even former Pakistan cricketer Basit Ali has made a shocking comment on Indian batters’ dismissals and accused Pat Cummins-led Australia of ball-tampering.
- Average bounce for deliveries 9-9.5m: 1.11m
- Starc’s dismissal ball to Kohli 9.19m: 1.54m
Notably, the ball was changed in the 18th over of the innings and in the 19th over Virat Kohli got dismissed.
“When it comes to Test cricket, I don’t think anyone is close to him in this generation. His adaptability, his ability to understand situations and play accordingly to the conditions in front of him is second to none”, Kohli told the ICC.
“His record speaks for itself. To average almost 60 over a span of 85 or 90 games is unbelievable. He is the best Test player of our generation, there is no doubt about it”, Kohli added.
It was Smith’s 31st Test century overall and ninth against India, and only the great Sachin Tendulkar (11) has scored more Test hundreds in matches between the two rivals.
Steve Smith’s love affair with India continues 😮
— ICC (@ICC) June 8, 2023
Kohli said much of India’s planning before the World Test Championship Final was on how to quell Smith, but putting those plans into practice was often a difficult task.
“We have always had a challenge coming up against him and trying to find ways to get him out. Every opposition that plays against Australia is planning against him the most because of what he can do when he gets going. He’s a truly amazing player and truly the best when it comes to playing Test cricket and adapting to different situations”, Kohli added.
While speaking about the match, overcasting the conditions and a hint of green on the wicket persuaded India to bowl first after winning the toss, and the strategy seemed sensible given the selection of a fourth fast bowler instead of the world’s top-ranked Test bowler – spinner Ravichandran Ashwin.
With Australia 76/3 at one stage it looked as if India’s selection could be the right one. But an unbroken 251-run stand between Head and Smith helped Australia to 469 at the close, leaving India on the back foot in the game.
While on the other hand, the Australian bowling attack came out strong, reducing India to 151-5 by stumps on day two. Pat Cummins drew first blood by removing Rohit Sharma, while Scott Boland and Cameron Green showcased their skills to dismiss Shubman Gill and Chiteshwar Pujara, respectively.
The left-arm pacer Mitchell Starc generated extra bounce to dismiss Virat Kohli for 14 runs while Lyon dismissed Jadeja for 48 runs. India ended up scoring 269 runs in their first innings.
At the end of day 3 Australia scored 123 runs for 4 wickets loss and made a lead of 296 runs.