Steven Smith : A Legend In Making

Sep 06, 2019   •  41 views

Steven Smith is a modern day test genius. His consistency in the longer format of the game is unmatchable. The potential competitor of him is only Virat Kohli, but currently Smith is definitely way ahead of Virat Kohli in tests.

The sydney born cricketer made his debut for Australia in 2010 as a leg spin bowler who can bat a bit. After first few matches many cricket legends opined that he can be more reliable batsman than a bowler. He started to work consciously on his batting soon and his hardwork started paying off soon. In 2013 it seemed like a pure bowler turned into a pure batsman in just couple of years. He performed well against the likes of England and West Indies in 2013 but many people believed that his actual tests will start when he will bat in sub continent pitches. In 2014 against Pakistan in Sharjah Smith ammassed his maiden ODI ton which was just a glimpse of how solid he is in Asian pitches. After coming back from Pakistan, in the home series against South Africa ,Smith's scores were 10,73,104,67 in four matches.

Smith's run riot in tests actually began in 2015 when Smith was made Vice captain of Australia after Michael Clarke's injury. In the very first match as Vice captain Smith scored 133 runs. In his 2nd test as deputy in the first innings of the tests he scored 192 runs. The final tests match of series saw Smith notching up another century against India. In that series Smith scored 769 runs at a frightening average of 128.16 . In the 2015 World Cup Aussies were among the favourites to lift the World cup in their home. But world cup needed something special to go in the hands of Aussies and Smith provided that. Smith scored 5 consecutive 50+ scores which includes a brilliant century against India in the semi final. He scored a total of 402 runs in that world cup.

Following the world cup it was time for Ashes. In the second test match in Lord's Smith notched up his maiden double ton in the first innings ,which gave Australia a victory. But soon he failed in the next couple of matches and critics began to question his ability. In the 5th and final test of the series Smith got back his touch and scored 143 runs,which was crucial in Australia's victory.

2016 was the worst year in Australia's cricket history as they faced consecutive series defeats against Sri Lanka, South Africa, New Zealand. Smith's batting was also not upto the mark in those series. After the test series loss against New Zealand it was time for ODI and Smith here showed his class again. He scored a brilliant 164 in the first match followed by a 72 runs knock in the second match. In the test series against Pakistan Smith's bat sparked once again as he scored 441 runs in 3 test matches, the most from either side.

In 2017 the so called real subcontinent test was ready for Steven Smith in the India tour. Smith's displayed his class abd consistency once again as he scored 499 runs in 4 matches of the test series which included 3 centuries. Smith ended the year 2017 with 1305 test runs, the highest run getter which included 6 centuries. His super human performance earned him ‘ICC Test Player of the Year'.

In 2018 South Africa series one of the most horrendous incident in cricket history took place. Cameron Bancroft a Australian player was captured by television cameras using sandpaper to rub cricket balls. He then hid those sandpapers in his underwear before confronting on field umpires. Bancroft after the match admitted that the leader group of the team discussed about tampering the ball. Smith, David Warner and Bancroft got suspended by Australian board for 12 months. The report from the Australian board stated while Smith didn't developed the plan, he didn't either act to prevent it. A weeping Smith in the press conference said “ It was a failure of leadership, my leadership. I know I will regret this for the rest of my life. I'm absolutely gutted. I hope I can earn my respect back and forgiveness”.

He came back fron suspension just before the 2019 ODI world cup and it seemed like these 12 hard months of his life made him mentally stronger. He got selected in the world cup team and he scored 379 runs in the tournament which included 4 fifties. In 2019-20 Ashes series the test genius made a comeback in some style as he notched up centuries in both the innings(144&142)in his very first test match after making comeback which gave Australia the much needed 1-0 lead in the series. In the second test a ferocious bouncer from England's Jofra Archer had hit Smith on his neck and which needed some treatment and time to recover. Smith still scored 92 runs in the first innings before getting dismissed and did not batted in the second innings. Doctors suggested that Smith needs time to recover and he missed out third test match of the series.

In the ongoing 4th test match Smith brought up his 3rd test double ton if his career as he scored 211 runs in the first innings after missing out 3rd test. Till now in 2019-20 Ashes his stats reads 4 innings , 589 runs at an average of 147.25 . Steven Smith has already scored 6788 runs in his test career in just 67 test matches which makes his supernormal consistency evident. Not to forget in the initial phase if his career he was a leg spin bowler mainly. Smith's current average of 64.7 in the second best test average by any player ever who played 50+ tests. Many people term him as “ Modern Day Bradman”, for his unbelievable consistency, which makes world's top bowlers look like street bowlers infront of him. If he continues to play this game with similar consistency then by the end of his career he can certainly shatter almost every major test records test batsmen are holding.