Test cricket's most successful captain, Graeme Smith has heaped praise on India skipper Virat Kohli, backing the 'superstar' to keep the longest format of the game alive and relevant.
Kohli has a sensational record in Test cricket, with 6331 runs at an average 54.57 after just 73 matches. His desire and hunger to succeed in the longest and most challenging format meant he has managed to score runs across the world, including in England, where he had initially struggled in 2014.
Speaking at the Jagmohan Dalmiya Annual Conference on Friday, the South African legend stated that there are only a few great players who may become great in cricket, but Kohli is already a superstar. He said,
"World cricket is lacking superstars… Maybe one or two are there who have the potential of becoming one. But I think Virat is that guy (superstar). As long as Virat keeps promoting Test cricket as an icon and superstar, we all have the chance to keep the game relevant.The fact that he loves Test cricket and puts in those performances, it keeps Test cricket relevant in a country that loves the game with IPL and other T20s. It’s huge for the game."
Smith, who played 117 Test matches during his ever-so successful career at the international arena, also mentioned that while T20Is are an entertainment and crowd puller, Test cricket should not be forgotten by any means.
"The crowd, the excitement that T20 brings to the game, is huge. T20 is such a huge asset to the game. There’s a big debate on how to balance both the formats. Everyone is trying to come up with an idea to keep Test cricket relevant. For me, it’s quite simple. Unfortunately, in Test cricket we have lost a few dynamic teams. There are teams who are going through transformation. I believe if world cricket is more competitive, all three formats will work.Test cricket is the ultimate test of your ability and skill and your physical state. The challenge is to get competitive teams outside the top three or four," he added.
(With inputs from PTI)