5 Steven Smith innings that prove he will finish as a true great
The Australian captain is the toast of the cricket world. But has he done enough yet to be considered a true great of the game?
Steven Smith’s is one of the most astonishing of cricket stories. As a young 20-year-old leg-spinner, Smith earned his baggy green in the ‘MCC Spirit of Cricket Series’, playing against Pakistan at Lord’s.
He made scores of 1 and 12 at number 8, and bowled 21 overs in the fourth innings, picking up three wickets. Today, he sits pretty at the top of the ICC rankings for Test batsmen and is the captain of Australia. Add to that an average of almost 62 (only second to the great Don Bradman), and we have one of the great Test batsmen of the current era.
However, things were not always so rosy for the Aussie captain. He had to graft his way into the team on the back of his leg spin and then hone his skill as a batsman after making the cut.
Along the way, he has played some fine innings that would ensure him a place in Test cricket’s Hall of Fame. Let’s take a look at five innings which have proven that the captain of Australia will have to be counted among the all-time greats when he finally decides to hang up his boots.
#5 111 vs England at Perth, 2013
In the midst of a wonderful Australian summer, the Kangaroos had thrashed England in the first two Tests of the Ashes. The third Test was played at Perth and England were looking to keep the series alive, while the Aussies were keen to wrap up the Ashes.
Against a full strength English bowling line up on a stereotypical fast and bouncy WACA pitch at Perth, the hosts were expected to negotiate the new ball safely and then pile on the runs with the help of a lightning fast outfield.
However, at 143/5 just a few minutes after lunch, things did not look so rosy anymore. Smith had already made his way up to number 5, but at this point, he had only Brad Haddin and the tail for company.
This was only his 15th Test match and he had made only one century so far. What followed was pure Aussie grit and determination. He batted all through the day to end on 103* with more to play the following day.
Along with Haddin and Mitchell Johnson, Smith conjured vital partnerships that took the team past 350 and eventually brought about an Australian victory.