The Fab 4 of the cricket includes Virat Kohli from India, Steve Smith from Australia, Kane Williamson from New Zealand, and Joe Root from England. These players are the best players currently playing cricket and often there is a discussion on which player is considered the best even among those four.
In this first part of two-part article, I am going to compare these four players in tests.
1) Steve Smith:
Steve Smith leads the chart of Fab 4 in the tests and it must be a no brainer. Starting his cricketing career as a young legspinner when Australian Cricket was looking for someone to replace Shane Warne, Smith has established himself as one of the finest test batsmen ever to have played the game of cricket.
Even after the rough one year ban after the ball-tampering incident, he came back, scored massive runs and showed what Australia missed in that year. In 77 matches he has scored 7540 runs with 27 hundreds and 31 fifties.
His average of 61.80 is the best among the active players and second-best to only the great Don Bradman. He therefore rightly belongs to the top of the Fab 4 chart when we are talking about test cricket.
Runs scored 7,540
Batting average 61.80
Top score 239
2) Kane Willamson:
In the second place, I have placed the Kiwi batsman Kane Willamson. Even though New Zealand don’t play many test matches compared to the Big Three countries, that has not stopped Willamson from delivering his best in the longest form of the game of cricket.
Batting in the top 3 is the toughest in test cricket as you have to face the hard-swinging red ball and often Williamson has to come early to anchor the innings as New Zeland doesn’t have a stable opening pair and that is what makes Williamson batting placed at number 2.
In 82 matches, he has scored 7115 with 24 hundred and 32 fifties.
Runs scored 7,115
Batting average 54.31
Top score 251
3) Virat Kohli:
Virat Kohli is one of the finest batsmen of Indian cricket. He was always a great batsman in the shorter form of cricket, however, it took a while for him to get his feet in test cricket. In his initial days, he struggled against the swinging balls going from him especially in England. He did solve his issue and scored 149 and 97 in last India’s tour of England in the year 2018. He always had the great runs in Australia and has the most number of double hundreds (7).
Overall, in 91 matches, Kohli has scored 7490 runs with 27 hundred and 25 fifties.
Runs scored 7,490
Batting average 52.38
Top score 254
4) Joe Root:
In the fourth position, I have placed Joe Root from England. His conversion rate is the main thing going against him in the ranking. Although he may have solved his conversion rate problem with three consecutive hundreds, with only 20 hundred and a 49 fifties, there seems to be a gap between him his contemporaries.
Probably going back and forth to number 3 and number 4 and burden of captaincy may have caused his average and conversion dip over the years which likely seems to be solved after the India series.
Overall, Root has scored 8617 with 20 hundred and 49 fifties.
Runs scored 8,617
Batting average 49.24
Top score 254
So, my ranking in the test is:
1) Steve Smith
2) Kane Williamson
3) Virat Kohli
4) Joe Root
Note: The stats are correct as of May 10, 2021.
Also Read: My Best Test Eleven