Melbourne: Former Australian fast bowler Brett Lee has picked Steve Smith over Virat Kohli as the world's best batsman at the moment because of the Australian's incredible turnaround after the ball-tampering scandal.

Along with his then deputy David Warner, Smith was banned for one year for his role in the infamous ball-tampering scandal in the Cape Town Test in 2018.

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On his return, he amassed runs and regained his status as one of the modern greats of the game.

"At the moment, I would pick Smith over Kohli because of what he has been through and what he has to overcome," Lee said during an Instagram live session with former Zimbabwe cricketer Pommie Mbangwa.

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"Steve Smith has been through a lot in the last couple of years, he has seen a rise with the way he played in the last 12 months, he is so fidgety, sometimes you are like just relax mate," he added.

"I might go with Kohli tomorrow as it depends on the mood. They are two great players and hard to split."

Considering the former captain's numbers, Lee compared Smith with the legendary Don Bradman.

"I think Smith can be as good as Don Bradman, there have been talks of him becoming just like Bradman looking at the number."

Lee reasoned that he chose Smith over Kohli as he has come back strongly after serving the ban.

"Look, it is so hard to pick, there are so many qualities in both that I enjoy, from the bowling of point I am trying to look are there any flaws in both batsmen, both of these batsmen are genuine," he said.

"Kohli is technically sound, he hits through the V, he used to nick off earlier in his career, but it is hard to do that now, he is a great leader of his side, I think he would love to win the IPL."

Because of their run-making skills and consistency, the cricket community has often compared Kohli and Smith in recent years.