New Delhi, May 26: Former Australia pacer Brett Lee picks Steve Smith over Virat Kohli because of what the Australian batsman has been through in his career.
Lee was asked to pick one of the two modern day greats during an Instagram live session with former Zimbabwe pacer Pommie Mbangwa and the former Australia pacer said it was a hard choice to make.
"Look, it is so hard to pick, there are so many qualities in both that I enjoy, from the bowling of point I am trying to look are there any flaws in both batsmen, both of these batsmen are genuine".
"Kohli is technically sound, he hits through the V, he used to knick off earlier in his career, but it is hard to do that now, he is a great leader of his side, I think he would love to win the IPL," he added.
Smith served a one-year ban from international cricket in 2018 for his involvement in the ball-tampering scandal against South Africa. And on his return in 2019, he joined the World Cup squad as well as ended Australia's Player of the Series in Ashes later in the summer.
"Steve Smith has been through a lot in the last couple of years, he has seen a rise with the way he played in the last 12 months, he is so fidgety, sometimes you are like just relax mate," Lee said.
Lee also praised Smith and said that the Australian run-machine could become as good as Don Bradman.
"At the moment I would choose Smith over Kohli because of what he has been through and what he has to overcome, they are two great players, I think Smith can be as good as Don Bradman, there have been talks of him becoming just like Bradman looking at the numbers" he added.
As per rankings, Smith is at the top of the ICC Test match standings for batsmen, while Kohli is positioned at the second place. And when it comes to ODIs, Kohli holds the top spot, while Smith does not even feature in the top ten.
Recently, former South Africa star AB de Villiers compared the duo to tennis greats. He said Kohli's natural talent makes him a cricketing equivalent of Roger Federer, while Smith's mental fortitude matches that of Rafael Nadal.
There may be debates over who is the best, but the duo are great in their own way and join the likes of England skipper Joe Root and New Zealand captain Kane Williamson as modern day batting greats of Test cricket.