Cummins lauds 'crazy' Smith achievements
Pat Cummins lauded the "crazy" exploits of Steve Smith after the Australia captain reached another landmark in an outstanding Ashes series on day two of the final Test.
Smith scored his 6,000th Test run at the SCG on Friday in his 111th innings, the joint second-fastest batsman to achieve the milestone along with Garfield Sobers and behind only Don Bradman.
The prolific skipper has scored a double-century and two hundreds to take the urn off England and he was unbeaten on 44 at stumps in Sydney, putting on 107 for the third wicket with Usman Khawaja (91) to guide Australia to 193-2 in reply to 346 all out.
Cummins, who finished with figures of 4-80, hailed Smith and spoke of his relief that he can watch the world's number one batsman pile on the runs rather than bowl at him.
"It's pretty crazy, I think at one stage they put up all those numbers on the board for biggest Ashes series by an Australian player and I think he might have been six or seven on the list but he's batted two or three times less than some of those guys at the top," said the quick.
"Those big innings he's played as well, they've all been really important. In Brisbane and Perth they were match-winning and in Melbourne it was match-saving, so it's just incredible and I think he's been the real difference between the two sides.
"As bowlers we're stoked he's on our team so we don't have to bowl at him. It's crazy, he prepares the way most other guys do, sit down, get the gear on and watching the game, but he just goes out there and from ball one he looks like he's been batting for three hours already.
"No obvious weakness, no obvious time it takes him to build into his innings, he just looks from ball one like he knows his game so well, so confident and in great touch. It's great, you lose a couple of wickets but he walks to the crease."
Cummins feels it is Smith's unique style at the crease that makes him so difficult to dislodge.
"He's very different to pretty much every other batsman." Cummins added.
"He moves so much so it's harder to find your target. A normal, fourth-stump ball to anyone else he can hit to the leg side as though it's a leg-stump ball, then the next one you might bowl the same ball and he doesn't move as far and hits a full-blooded cover drive.
"So I think he's just a really hard batter to get a rhythm to, and I think the best batsmen in the world are always the most proactive, they find a way to get off strike, find a way to not let you settle in as a bowler.
"I think that's what he's done. He's a seriously smart batsman, he knows what he's doing and how to have one over the bowler."