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Kohli currently best batsman because Smith not there: Ponting

Press Trust of India  |  Melbourne 

Former Australian believes is currently the best batsman in the world only because is serving a year-long ban for his role in at a Test.

Asked who is the number one batsman in the world, said: "Right now, he (Kohli) is because is not there.

"(But) if was playing now, I'd have him as the number one in the world," he said at Channel Seven's season launch.

believes contribution in Australia's many victories, especially at the Ashes, makes him a better batsman than Kohli.

"That's how high in regard I hold Steve Smith - what he's done the last three or four years with his game and (he's been) able to lead an Australian team to so many wins the way he has (batted)," Ponting said.

"The Ashes summer last year was just some of the best and purest batting as you're ever going to see. To do it on the big stage in an Ashes series, and to do it on the first day of an when it counts the most, says a lot about him."

Smith, who was banned for a year by for his role in the scandal that rocked the third Test against at Cape Town, has so far scored 23 Test hundreds at an average of 61.37. He amassed 687 runs, including three hundreds, during the last

Kohli, on the other hand, has hit 21 hundreds at an average of 53.40.

(This story has not been edited by Business Standard staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)

First Published: Thu, July 12 2018. 20:00 IST