5 reasons why Steve Smith is the best Test batsman amongst the 'Fab Four'
It was in 2014 when the legendary Martin Crowe had coined the term 'Fab Four' highlighting the ascendancy of four young talented batsmen who he thought had the potential to become world beaters of their generation, and boy, have they delivered!
This elite group of Virat Kohli, Joe Root, Kane Williamson, and Steve Smith were earmarked for greatness and though they've challenged each other to the greatest extent, it's been the Australian Captain Smith who has been batting on a different level altogether, especially in the longest format of the game, which has made him the best of his era.
We look at 5 reasons why he's the best batsman of his generation.
#5 A bizarre start to the career
Ever since Shane Warne decided to call it quits after the England series in 2007, Australia had been on the lookout for an able replacement. The search seemed to have finally ended when a certain Steven Smith rose through the ranks quickly and made a name for himself in the domestic circuit.
With a boyish charm and a run-up to the crease which resembled that of Warne, the comparisons were inevitable. Warne took him under his wings and was quite impressed with the young lad from New South Wales.
"I think he's got an X-factor about him. I think he could become a pretty special player" was what Warne wrote in a newspaper in 2010. Smith made his debut against Pakistan that year, primarily as a leg-spinner who could bat a bit as well when the situation demanded. Prior to the series, Mohammad Yousuf was asked as to how they'd negate the leg spin threat of Steve Smith.
"Steve Smith? Is he an Australian?" came the reply
After a mediocre performance in his debut series, he was brandished by legends and experts alike for his inability to take wickets in less helpful conditions, and his ungainly technique while batting. His average performances continued in the Ashes series of 2010, and he was subsequently dropped from the squad. Pundits were of the opinion that his batting seemed to be more adept at the Test level than his friendly dibbly-dobblies.
Greg Chappel remarkably announced,"Steve Smith is the best batting talent we've got in Australia" and this proved to be the rebirth of Smudge, as he is fondly called amongst his peers, the quintessential batsman. While his contemporaries took to the longest format like a fish to water, Smith had to work his way up to the ladder in a battle-hardened manner which makes his achievements all the more remarkable.