Former Indian middle-order batsman VVS Laxman has opined that Steve Smith will edge out Virat Kohli and Kane Williamson to the ICC Test Cricketer of the Decade award. He made this observation in a recent edition of the Star Sports show Cricket Connected.
Laxman was asked if Virat Kohli has some serious competition for the ICC Test Cricketer of the Decade award, with Steve Smith and Kane Williamson likely to run him to the post.
While acknowledging that it is likely to be a very close call, the wristy Hyderabadi pointed out that the former Aussie captain is ahead of the current Indian and Kiwi skippers by the barest of margins.
"Ya, it is going to be a tough choice. I think in Test match cricket, if you ask my opinion, Steve Smith edges out Virat Kohli and Kane Williamson. Again by a whisker, there is not much of difference."
Laxman reasoned Steve Smith has averaged over 65 in Test cricket over the last decade, highlighting that not many cricketers have done so in the history of the game.
"But to average 65 in sixty-nine Test matches, it is not so easy. How many batsmen in international cricket, once they play 50 Test matches, average more than 60."
VVS Laxman lauds Steve Smith for making a strong comeback after his ban
VVS Laxman spoke in glowing terms about Steve Smith's majestic comeback to the game after being banned for a year for his involvement as the Aussie skipper in the Sandpapergate scandal.
"After being suspended for more than one year, after you being humiliated, after what happened at the Cape Town Test match with the ball-tampering incident, the way he came back and took upon himself to win the Ashes for the Australians against a quality bowling lineup on challenging wickets, shows what a great batsman Steve Smith is."
Steve Smith has scored 7040 runs at an average of 65.79 in the current decade. He has stuck 26 centuries in this period, with a highest score of 239 against England at Perth in December 2017.
Smith had a glorious Ashes campaign in 2019, scoring 774 runs at a Bradmanesque average of 110.57. This included three hundreds and fifty-plus scores each in the seven innings he played on the tour.