Former Pakistan Captain Explains Steve Smith, Virat Kohli’s Century Drought

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Virat Kohli and Steve Smith are without doubt two of the finest batters of their generation. However, both players have failed to score a big knock in recent times, despite starting off well. While Smith last scored a century in the longest format against India in Sydney last year, Kohli has failed to reach triple figures since the pink-ball Test against Bangladesh at the Eden Gardens in 2019. As a result, Smith and Kohli’s recent century drought has been the topic of discussion within the cricketing fraternity.

While analysing the ongoing third Test between Pakistan and Australia, former Pakistan skipper Rashid Latif gave his thoughts on why Smith and Kohli have struggled to score centuries of late.

“They have got a lot of easy pitches, where you can score runs. But these are the kinds of players who need gaps. Like today, Australia lost two early wickets. Smith needs these kinds of conditions and situations. If you saw how he batted today and compare with his knocks in Rawalpindi or Karachi, there’s a huge difference in how he played. He hit two beautiful boundaries in flow,” Latif said in a video uploaded on his YouTube channel, Caught Behind.

“So this is the kind of field Smith needs, where there is no cover fielder, no one at midwicket, the fielders are spread out in front. That’s when he plays so well. But when the team starts to score more runs, the field changes and is tighter, so he gets bogged down. Pakistan have been smart and stopping him from scoring runs. That’s why he’s falling short of a century by 25-30 runs,” he added.

As for Kohli, he said that while the pitch factor is there for him too, it’s only a matter of time before he starts scoring tons for fun again.

“For Virat Kohli, the pitch factor is there. But a century will come. And once they start, just keep counting them,” he said.

While Smith will have another opportunity to score a century during the ongoing series against Pakistan, Kohli will have to wait till July, when India face England in a one-off Test at the Edgbaston in Birmingham.

Kohli will now be seen in action during the upcoming season of the Indian Premier League, which starts Saturday, March 26.

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