Warner lauds talismanic Kohli and Smith

By Sports Desk May 06, 2020

Steve Smith and Virat Kohli are talismanic figures who set the tone for their respective international sides, according to David Warner.

Australia's Smith and India's Kohli are two of the finest batsmen of their generation, occupying first and second spot respectively in the current Test rankings.

The duo are set to meet if India's tour of Australia – scheduled to begin in October – goes ahead, although significant doubt remains as the coronavirus pandemic continues to pose a threat.

If it should go ahead, Warner expects to see great things from the two leading men, who he says act as figureheads for their sides.

"When it comes to cricket, they both have got the mental strength, the mental capacity to score runs," Warner told Cricbuzz.

"They stabilise, they boost morale – if they score runs, everyone else's morale is up. If they are out cheaply, you almost sense that on the field that everyone is … [down on morale and thinking] now we all have to step up. It's a very bizarre situation.

"They both love spending time in the middle. Virat's passion and drive to score runs is different to what Steve's would be.

"Steve is going out there for a hit in the middle, that's how he sees things. He's hitting them out in the middle, he's having fun, he's enjoying himself, just does not want to get out.

"Virat, obviously, doesn't want to get out, but he knows if he spends a certain amount of time out there, he's going to score plenty of runs at a rapid rate.

"He's going to get on top of you. That allows the guys coming in [to play their own game], especially in the Indian team you've got a lot of players who can be flamboyant as well."

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  • Abid unbeaten as Pakistan post daunting first-innings 510 Abid unbeaten as Pakistan post daunting first-innings 510

    Pakistan strengthened their grip on the second Test against Zimbabwe in Harare after an unbeaten 215 from Abid Ali allowed the tourists to declare on 510-8.

    And Zimbabwe were quickly reduced to 52-4 in reply by the end of day two as Pakistan closed on a dominant sweep of the two-match series.

    The touring side, who won the opener by an innings and 116 runs, resumed on 268-4 on Saturday and could not be slowed.

    It took Zimbabwe 54 balls to remove nightwatchman Sajid Khan (20), installed alongside Abid after a belated flurry of wickets on Friday, although Abid's scoring was only steady as Mohammad Rizwan and Hasan Ali also departed.

    The arrival of Nauman Ali at the crease prompted a huge partnership of 169 and the duo looked immovable at the close of the second session.

    Nauman was just seven shy of a maiden century, having been out for a duck in the previous match, and this looming milestone appeared to play into the thinking as Pakistan batted again in the evening.

    But after Nauman hit the first ball for four, he was stumped from the second and Babar Azam swiftly declared.

    That left time for the tourists to chase early wickets in the Zimbabwe innings and veteran Test debutant Tabish Khan found joy inside the second over as he trapped Tarisai Musakanda.

    Kevin Kasuza, captain Brendan Taylor and Milton Shumba also departed before the day was out, with Sajid continuing an enjoyable outing with his first Test wicket.

    The hosts again face a mountain to climb simply to send Pakistan in to bat for a second time, already with only six wickets remaining and 259 off the follow-on mark of 311.

    Making hay in Harare

    Abid scored centuries in two of his first three Test innings but had failed to supply a third since coming into this match. His average stood at 37.

    Now he has a first double-hundred and a batting average of 49.6. The batsman found an accommodating Zimbabwe attack but capitalised far more effectively than many of his team-mates.

    Well worth the wait

    Tabish made his first-class debut in 2002-03 but only now, aged 36, has been handed his chance in the Test arena.

    Not called into action until the sixth session of the match, he soon made up for lost time with just his sixth delivery, nipping back into Musakanda to set Pakistan on their way.

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