Warner lauds talismanic Kohli and Smith

By Sports Desk May 06, 2020

Steve Smith and Virat Kohli are talismanic figures who set the tone for their respective international sides, according to David Warner.

Australia's Smith and India's Kohli are two of the finest batsmen of their generation, occupying first and second spot respectively in the current Test rankings.

The duo are set to meet if India's tour of Australia – scheduled to begin in October – goes ahead, although significant doubt remains as the coronavirus pandemic continues to pose a threat.

If it should go ahead, Warner expects to see great things from the two leading men, who he says act as figureheads for their sides.

"When it comes to cricket, they both have got the mental strength, the mental capacity to score runs," Warner told Cricbuzz.

"They stabilise, they boost morale – if they score runs, everyone else's morale is up. If they are out cheaply, you almost sense that on the field that everyone is … [down on morale and thinking] now we all have to step up. It's a very bizarre situation.

"They both love spending time in the middle. Virat's passion and drive to score runs is different to what Steve's would be.

"Steve is going out there for a hit in the middle, that's how he sees things. He's hitting them out in the middle, he's having fun, he's enjoying himself, just does not want to get out.

"Virat, obviously, doesn't want to get out, but he knows if he spends a certain amount of time out there, he's going to score plenty of runs at a rapid rate.

"He's going to get on top of you. That allows the guys coming in [to play their own game], especially in the Indian team you've got a lot of players who can be flamboyant as well."

Related items

  • Gayle handed Cottrell debut cap, saluted bowler ahead of Kings XI opener Gayle handed Cottrell debut cap, saluted bowler ahead of Kings XI opener

     West Indies pace bowler Sheldon Cottrell did not make his debut for Kings XI Punjab in the team's Indian Premier League (IPL) opener but received a warm reception nonetheless after being given his cap by none other than T20 legend Chris Gayle.

    In typically flamboyant style, Gayle welcomed his countryman to the team with a short march and salute.  The celebration style has been made popular by the fast bowler who treats fans to the salute every time that he takes a wicket.

    The 31-year-old former soldier was bought for a whopping INR 8.5 crore ($US1,156,239) by Punjab during the IPL 2020 auction.  The player joined the IPL after taking part in the Caribbean Premier League (CPL).  It was not smooth sailing for Kings XI on debut.   Chasing 158, Kings XI needed 13 from the last over bowled by Australia Marcus Stoinis. Mayank Agarwal started the over with a six followed by a couple and a four, thereby equalling the score.

    Now, the KL Rahul-led side required just one run to win off three balls. But in a significant twist, Punjab failed to score. The game went to the Super Over where DC successfully defeated KXIP.  Gayle was also not a part of the team picked for the opener.

  • Samson & Smith see Rajasthan to victory in record-tying clash with CSK Samson & Smith see Rajasthan to victory in record-tying clash with CSK

    Sanju Samson and Steve Smith powered Rajasthan Royals to a 16-run victory over Chennai Super Kings in their opening fixture of the Indian Premier League season.

    CSK kicked off the IPL's 13th season with a five-wicket win over Mumbai Indians, however, they were comfortably second best on Tuesday in Sharjah.

    Samson and captain Smith laid the foundation for Rajasthan with a second-wicket partnership of 121 as they set CSK a target of 217.

    Had CSK triumphed it would have marked the highest successful chase in IPL history.

    However, they never came close to doing so despite an opening partnership of 56 between Shane Watson and Murali Vijay and a powerful 37-ball 72 from Faf du Plessis.

    Three sixes in the final over from MS Dhoni saw the record for most maximums in an IPL match tied as the teams combined for 33.

    A comfortable Rajasthan success did not appear on the cards when opener Yashasvi Jaiswal fell for six in the third over.

    But Samson (74) and Smith (69) tipped the balance of the contest firmly in favour of Rajasthan.

    Samson was in destructive form as he bludgeoned the CSK attack, a four and nine sixes marking a devastating 32-ball stay at the crease.

    Lungi Ngidi dismissed Samson when a wide delivery outside off was hit to deep cover and David Miller was run out for a duck two balls later.

    Smith held the innings together until he fell with 10 balls remaining, with Jofra Archer then adding the finishing touches as he struck Ngidi for four successive sixes - including two off no-balls - in a final over that went for 30.

    Rahul Tewatia dealt with the dangerous Watson, whose 33 comprised of four sixes, sending a delivery crashing into his leg stump.

    Shreyas Gopal removed Murali (21) five balls later before Tewatia had Sam Curran and Ruturaj Gaikwad stumped in successive deliveries.

    Kedar Jadhav's (22) exit left an unlikely fightback on the shoulders of the experienced duo of Du Plessis and Dhoni.

    Du Plessis did the heavy lifting in spectacular fashion, with three sixes in the 17th over giving CSK faint hope that was snuffed out when an Archer bouncer did him for pace.

     

    Smith shows his class

    Smith returned from a head injury suffered during Australia's recent limited-overs tour of England and did so in fine fashion, scoring his first half-century in any format since February.

    Archer adds crucial runs

    Archer's incredible final-over contribution made sure a mammoth total was out of reach for CSK and he then produced a brilliant bouncer to remove the in-form Du Plessis and put the contest to bed.

  • Coronavirus: UK government pauses plans for fans' October return to sporting events in England Coronavirus: UK government pauses plans for fans' October return to sporting events in England

    The United Kingdom government has paused plans for the return of fans to live sporting events in England from October 1 due to the rise in coronavirus cases.

    On Monday, the COVID-19 alert level in the UK was raised to a four, meaning transmission of the virus is "high or exponentially rising", with prime minister Boris Johnson set to outline fresh measures to halt the increase in cases.

    Plans to bring supporters back into stadia were placed under review earlier this month and pilot events were restricted to 1,000 people in attendance.

    However, government minister Michael Gove confirmed to BBC Breakfast on Tuesday that pilot schemes were now on hold, as are plans for fans to return in staged phases, representing a major blow to a struggling sports sector.

    "We were looking at a staged programme of more people returning – it wasn't going to be the case that we were going to have stadiums thronged with fans," Gove said.

    "We're looking at how we can, for the moment, pause that programme, but what we do want to do is to make sure that, as and when circumstances allow, get more people back.

    "The virus is less likely to spread outdoors than indoors but again it's in the nature of major sporting events that there's a lot of mingling."

    Sport has been taking place mainly behind closed doors in the UK since it returned following a full lockdown in March.

    Approximately 300 spectators were granted access to the World Snooker Championship final at the Crucible in Sheffield, while a friendly between Brighton and Hove Albion and Chelsea in August saw 2,500 fans allowed into the Amex Stadium.

    But Gove said the decision has been taken in part due to the criticism the government received for allowing full attendances to sporting events in March, when COVID-19 was posing a growing threat.

    The decision to allow the Champions League last-16 match between Liverpool and Atletico Madrid to go ahead brought scrutiny with Liverpool council probing the impact it had on the spread of the disease, while there is pressure to look into whether the Cheltenham Festival should have been permitted to proceed at full capacity.

    "People look back now at the beginning of the pandemic at some of the major sporting events then and ask the question why were they allowed to go ahead," added Gove.

    "What we must do is look at sporting events now with caution but we also recognise that sport is a vital part of this nation and we're looking at everything we can do to support our athletes, our great clubs, through what will be a challenging time."

    The latest development comes at a time where the sports industry continues to count the cost of the global pandemic.

    Over 100 leaders from sports bodies have requested emergency funding in a letter to the prime minister.

    Sport England has handed out £200million for emergency cases, but with clubs continuing to lose money many have said that does not go far enough.

    Premier League chief executive Richard Masters told the BBC earlier this month that teams were looking at losing £700m if fans are not allowed back into grounds during the 2020-21 campaign, saying it was "absolutely critical" they were brought back.

© 2020 SportsMaxTV All Rights Reserved.