Steve Smith and Virat Kohli have been two central figures in India-Australia clashes over the last few years. The two have known each other a long time now. On the field, they are fierce competitors, but off it, they always have words of appreciation for each other. In a recent chat on Star Sports, Steve Smith showered some more praise on Kohli and mentioned how he feels the Border-Gavaskar Trophy this year has the potential to become one of the epics in Test history.

The Rajasthan Royals skipper mentioned that him and Kohli go way back. “I’ve known Virat for a long time. In 2007, I reckon, he went out to the academy in Brisbane. While I wasn’t part of the intake then, I was up there doing some bowling. We had some nice chats off the field back then.”

Two of the world’s finest batsmen at the moment, they have exchanged some words on the field a few years ago, but never lost any respect for each other. “We’ve had a couple of run-ins in our early days on the field. Those things happen when you are playing for your team & your emotions, at times, can get out of control. He’s a terrific guy and is getting better & better, which is a scary thing.”

Smith had a special mention for one of Kohli’s gestures during the 2019 World Cup. “His gestures to some of the fans who were giving me & Dave (Warner) some stick; I appreciated that & I shared that with him straight up. He’s a terrific guy & the way he’s led the Indian team has made them an amazing side. I can’t wait to play them when they come down to Australia this year.”

India are due to play 4 Tests in Australia later this year. On the last tour, India beat the Aussies, 2-0 and the bowlers played a major role. With Smith and Warner slated to be part of Australia’s squads this year, the battle is believed to be extremely competitive. Smith is looking forward to the series and has high expectations. “I’m so excited. I think it’s going to be one of the all-time great series. Guys like Jasprit Bumrah have grown leaps & bounds, Mohammed Shami has got better & better & Ishant comes with plenty of experience. There are some quality spinners in both line-ups.”

But before that, we will be hoping for the IPL to happen and Smudge to lead Rajasthan Royals to a successful season. If everything goes to plan, we are set for a few exciting months of cricket later in the year.