2017 was a dream year for Steve Smith, as the Australian batsman amassed 1305 runs in 11 Tests with six centuries and three half-centuries. He was rightly adjudged the winner of the ‘ICC Test Player of the Year 2017’.
High on his 2017 success, Smith entered 2018 with a lot of expectations. However, a ‘brain fade’ decision in the Newlands Test match against South Africa changed his cricketing career forever.
After serving a ban of 12 months from international cricket for 'Sandpaper-gate', Smith was finally back in Australian colors at the ICC World Cup 2019. And even though he failed to score a century in the tournament, he scored 379 runs in 10 matches with four 50+ scores.
The Ashes, however, was always the primary target for the Australian cricket team. Since the series also marked the return of Smith to Test cricket, there were massive expectations on his shoulders.
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As always, Smith lived up to the expectations by having a stellar series. And in the process of returning to international cricket, Smith created quite a few records.
Let us look at three such records created by Smith in Tests this year.
#3 Fastest batsman to reach 7,000 runs
After a long gap of 16 months, Smith finally resumed his Test career in the first Test of Ashes 2019. The former Australian skipper was expected to replicate his Ashes 2017 form in the marquee series, and he lived up to the expectations by scoring twin centuries (144 & 142) in his comeback Test.
Smith's purple patch continued throughout the series as he scored 774 runs in just seven innings with a Bradman-esque average of 110.57.
With David Warner and Marnus Labuschagne dominating the Test series against Pakistan, Smith’s contribution was rarely required. But even though he scored a mere 40 runs in two innings, he managed to create the world record of becoming the fastest batsman to reach 7000 Test runs in the second match of that series.
Since Smith’s hunger for runs is well-known, we can expect him to break the record of fastest to 8,000 Test runs too in the coming year.