Over the years, we have seen many fantastic batsmen like Tendulkar, Lara, Ponting but then we came across one of the modern greats, Steve Smith. He isn’t the most elegant to watch with a unorthodox technique but without a doubt, he has proved himself in the longer format.
Coming back after a year suspension, being under tremendous pressure in your return test in arguably one of the biggest series, The Ashes. Australia had not won a test match in Edgbaston since 2001. You walk out to bat and suddenly you start losing quick wickets leaving your team at 122-8 on the first morning of the 1st Ashes Test. Everything going your opponent’s way. Many would of thought that it was the end of the Australian innings. The pitch was a tough one, runs were not easy to get. At 122 for 8, Smith built a innings saving partnership with Peter Siddle and helped Australia over the 200 mark.
Steve Smith showed why he is one of the best test batsmen by scoring one of the best tons of his career. Scoring 144 runs helping the Aussies to get to a par score of 284. In the second innings when Australia was trailing by 90 runs, Smith walked out to bat at 27-2, with Australia desperate to post a defending total to give them a chance to win the match.
Steve Smith’s hunger for runs was the same as the first innings, milking the English bowlers throughout the innings and scoring another great century in the second innings. Smith’s 142 guided the Aussies to 487-7 which then left England to chase 398 on a tricky wicket, later helping Australia to win the match by 251 runs, which nobody would of expected when they were 122-8 on Day 1.
Steve Smith has a staggering average of 62.97 in 119 innings. His average is only second to Don Bradman. Since his first hundred at The Oval in 2013 he is averaging 71.93 in 97 innings. A fantastic conversion rate as well, with 25 hundreds and 24 fifties. Only two centuries in losing causes. Over the years, Steve Smith has shown us over and over again why he is the best test batsmen in the world. He has all the shots in the book and he has proved himself in different conditions around the world.
England will now be desperate to find a plan to counter Smith’s brilliance. They have been blown away in the first test and now they will have to do things differently to give themselves a chance to win, otherwise chances are that another Steve Smith special will blow them away again.