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Sunday, Sep 22, 2019

Ashes 2019: Steve Smith eyes immortality, on verge of smashing Don Bradman’s 89-year-old Test record

England vs Australia: If Steve Smith manages to score 304 runs more in the two innings at Oval, he will surpass Don Bradman’s 89-year-old Test record.

cricket Updated: Sep 11, 2019 13:28 IST
HT Correspondent
HT Correspondent
Hindustan Times, New Delhi
Steve Smith is 303 runs away from Don Bradman’s record.
Steve Smith is 303 runs away from Don Bradman’s record.(Reuters)

Australia’s Steve Smith is in the form of his life in the ongoing Ashes Test series against England. The former Australia captain has already struck a double hundred, two centuries and two fifties in the series. At the moment, he is the leading run-scorer in the series, with 671 runs in three Tests, and could have scored more, if he had not been ruled out of the 4th Test due to concussion. With the two teams set to play the fifth Test, the World No. 1 Test batsman will be on the verge of immortality, as he looks to smash Sir Don Bradman’s 89-year-old record.

In the 1930 Ashes series, Bradman had struck 974 runs, the highest ever by a cricketer in a Test series. If Smith manages to score 304 runs more in the two innings at Oval, he will surpass Bradman’s 89-year-old record. He will also become the cricketer with most runs in a single Ashes series.

Also read: Steve Smith says ‘amazing’ feeling to retain Ashes

Smith, who returned from a one year ban, has made an immediate impact on international cricket, scoring a bucketful of runs to wrest back the top spot from Indian captain Virat Kohli. Smith’s player of the match effort of 211 and 82 runs in the two innings has lifted him to 937 rating points, only 10 less than his all-time best aggregate achieved in December 2017. He is now 34 points ahead of India captain Virat Kohli and virtually assured of remaining at the top at the end of the five-match series.

Steve Smith said it “feels amazing” to retain the Ashes after Australia finally ended a stubborn rearguard effort from England on Sunday to win the fourth Test by 185 runs.

Also read: Steve Smith steers clear of Virat Kohli on top

England, set a huge second-innings target of 383 to win, were bowled out for 197 following some spirited lower-order defiance, putting Australia 2-1 up in the five-Test series ahead of next week’s finale at the Oval. “It feels amazing to know the urn is coming home,” former captain Smith told Sky Sports.

Smith has scored an astonishing 671 runs at an average innings of 134.2, including three hundreds, despite missing England’s one-wicket win in the third Test at Headingley with concussion. “I’ve been here a few times when things haven’t gone our way,” he added. “This was always one to tick off my bucket list. It’s extremely satisfying.

First Published: Sep 11, 2019 09:24 IST