Kohli better captain than Smith - Chappell

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When it comes to captaincy, India skipper Virat Kohli has Australia counterpart Steve Smith covered, according to former Test captain Ian Chappell.

Kohli and Smith will lock horns when India host Australia in February next year and ex-Aussie skipper Chappell has compared the two cricket stars.

While the differences are subtle, Chappell believes Kohli's handling of spinners make him the superior captain.

"Under [Virat's] leadership Ravichandran Ashwin has prospered as the leader of India's attack," Chappell wrote in his column for Cricinfo.

"In contrast, there have been times when Nathan Lyon has struggled to the point where his selection was in doubt until he produced a much-improved effort in Adelaide.

"It should be a fascinating contest between these two evolving captains when they clash in early 2017. With both aspects -- batting and captaincy -- of equal importance, it will be the one who provides plenty of runs and inspiration for his bowlers who will be holding aloft the Border-Gavaskar Trophy."

Smith oversaw Australia's 3-0 one-day international whitewash of New Zealand, following the country's disappointing Test series defeat to South Africa.

Kohli, meanwhile, is on the cusp of guiding India to victory in the fourth Test against England, who trail 2-0 in the five-match series.

"Both Kohli and Smith have successfully managed the priority of being batting captains. Never forget that making a mountain of runs is a sure way to lead by example," Chappell added.

"Kohli has displayed the ability to lift his already high standard in times of need, and there was no better example than his second-innings century against Australia at Adelaide Oval. Not only was it an inspirational innings, it firmly declared his hand as a captain who would try to win the game for as long as humanly possible.

"Even when his team was going through a horror patch of five successive Test losses, Smith remained the side's most consistent batsman. 

"His defiant 48 not out in Hobart, when everyone around him succumbed to the relentless South African attack, was a great example of a captain who refused to wilt."