Ashes 2019: Steve Smith equals Jacques Kallis’ remarkable batting record in Test cricket
The cover drives aren’t textbook, the stance and trigger movement is outright irritating and he could be patchy for most part of his innings, yet, Steve Smith knows how to score runs in the whites.Updated: Aug 07, 2019 15:28 IST
There are and have been batsmen who have provided unbridled joy to cricket purists with their elegance and finesse over the years. And then there have been batsmen who have made fans and pundits sit up and take notice of their skills with their display of power. But very rarely do you come across a batsman who appeals to your senses despite not being picture perfect in either technique or stroke play.
The cover drives aren’t textbook, the stance and trigger movement is outright irritating and he could be patchy for most part of his innings, yet Steve Smith knows how to score runs in the whites. And runs he scored in the first Ashes Test against England to not just dig the Aussies out of a massive hole but also guided them to a momentous victory.
For a nation looking to rediscover its place of pride in international cricket, the victory at Birmingham is as sweet as it gets. For Smith personally, his performance across the two innings at Edgbaston was nothing short of achieving salvation. Twin centuries on his Test return also helped the former Aussie captain to equal a record earlier in sole possession of the South African run machine Jacques Kallis.
Just like Kallis, Smith has been the anchor and engine for his team, scoring in bulk to often make an otherwise mediocre batting line-up look good. His runs win matches for his team and that is what makes him the best of his generation.
The Edgbaston Test was the 9th instance when Smith scored a century and a fifty or more in the same Test match, equalling Kallis’ feat. By doing so, Smith has left the likes of Alastair Cook, Virat Kohli, Sachin Tendulkar and Ricky Ponting in his wake.
Comparisons with Don Bradman are back and it could not have been a better restart to Smith’s Test career. Having lost a crucial year in his prime, Smith looks more focussed and determined to amass and accumulate runs and more importantly, guide his team to crucial victories.
England needs to come up with plans to tackle this tornado or the joy of winning their maiden World Cup will soon give way to the sorrow of losing a home Ashes series for the first time since 2001.