Cricket has seen many legends and the legacies they carry. And with a great legacy comes greater comparisons and fan debates.
Who is superior: Sachin Tendulkar or Virat Kohli? Sourav Ganguly or MS Dhoni? The online debates among the sport’s pundits on who is “better” in the game may go on and on but a recent comparison between two active cricketers has managed to ruffle some feathers on Indian Twitter.
The two players in question? Test cricketers Steve Smith and Virat Kohli.
After seeing their nation triumph in the recently concluded ICC Cricket World Cup, English (and Aussie) fans have come out in numbers to watch Joe Root’s men take on Tim Paine’s XI in the hotly-awaited Test series. It’s the Ashes, after all.
Day one of the first Test on Thursday (almost) belonged to England pacers with Stuart Broad taking a fifer and Chris Woakes picking up 3 but former Australia captain Steve Smith had different plans.
Marking his return to Tests since a year-long ball-tampering ban, Smith cemented his foot on the crease when others faltered. The tourists were struggling at 17-2 at Edgbaston when Smith came out to bat and his team collapsed to 122-8.
Defying all odds, Smith went on to score a gritty 144 and brought up his 24th Test ton, thus pushing the Aussie total to 284. He subsequently became the second batsman in the history to reach the milestone in the fewest of innings. Smith’s 24th ton came in just 118 innings, 5 fewer than those of King Kohli’s.
As the boos turned into cheer, Smith’s crucial ton was widely celebrated on social media.
Amidst the noise, surfaced a tweet that caught the users, especially in India, on the wrong foot.
“Steve Smith has 9 Ashes hundreds. Virat Kohli? Zero,” wrote Ahmed on his Twitter page.
While the comparison may seem harmless, especially how competitive the sport has become in this day and age, there’s a catch here – Kohli cannot participate in the Ashes series.
In fact, the coveted series is only played between two nations: England and Australia.
The tweet, seemingly posted to bait the fans, did its job and hilarity ensued.