Considering the recent batting prowess of Virat Kohli and Steve Smith in the longest format of cricket, spin king Shane Warne has stated that it is hard to single out between the two and hence he will rate both – the Indian captain as well as his Australian counterpart as the no.1 Test batsmen in the world.
"It's hard to split Virat Kohli and Smith for the title of No.1 Test batsmen in the world at the moment and the best players like the battle and are super competitive." Warne was quoted by cricket.com.au as saying.
The legendary spinner also warned the English team, who tried to sledge Smith in the first and second Ashes Test. Warne believes riling up Smith is the biggest mistake a team can make since the Aussie skipper becomes determined to do well after engaging in a banter.
"Engaging him in banter could just ignite the concentration within and lead to a big hundred for the Aussie skipper,” opined Warne
"It's a bit like when the Australian teams that I played in started sledging Brian Lara – we learnt after the seventh or eighth ton that it wasn't a great plan," he added.
The 48-year-old also explained what sledging meant to him. He cited the example of another sport and said that it is about being subtle, clever and humorous rather than boldness.
"For mine, the art of sledging is all about unsettling your opponent to the point where they lose concentration and focus," said the 708 Test wicket-taker.
"It's about being subtle, clever and humorous rather than loud bravado. It's the little word here or there, often when your opponent least expects it, that can really touch a nerve. Sledging is about making a batsman think of something other than what he should be,” he explained.
"Taking an example from another sport, it's like arriving at a par three with a green protected by water and recalling to your partner about the time he 'sliced one into the drink on the right'. (It) just gets you thinking,” concluded Warne.