Steve Smith’s waning returns
Steve Smith hasn’t been able to rack up the big runs for which he has been known for over the last few years.
Not even the best batsman in Australia
Forget about being the best in world cricket, Steve Smith is currently not even the best batsman in Australia with that title resting comfortably on the shoulders of MarnusLabuschagne with Usman Khwaja following him.
Steve Smith was in sensational touch from 2014 to 2017. He scored 1146 runs from 9 test matches in 2014 at an average of 81.86 with the best of 192. Next year in 2015 he made 1474 runs at an average of 73.70 with the help of 6 centuries, 5 half centuries and the best of 250.
In 2016 as well, Steve Smith scored over a 1000 runs at an average in excess of 70.
A thumping return
After being out of action for 2 years due to the ball tampering ban, Steve Smith was back to his best in Ashes 2019 and averaged 74.23 that year. COVID-19 and other factors have combined for Australia to not play a lot of test cricket in 2020 and 2021 and that has gone against Smith.
The batter has managed to score less than 1000 runs over the last 3 years combined.
As a result, Smith who was placed comfortably with 7449 runs and 27 centuries at the end of 2020 hasn’t been able to add a lot to his tally. Smith currently has 8010 runs from 85 test matches at an average of 59.77 with 36 half centuries and the best of 239.
Can he overtake Ponting?
However, he is a long way behind in the pecking order and will have to produce a couple of extraordinary runs in order to be back to his best and stake a claim to finish somewhere close to Ricky Ponting’s 13378 runs, the most by any Australian batter in test cricket.
With a few difficult series lined up in the subcontinent against Sri Lanka and India, Smith will not find it very easy to score big runs.
However, going by his sensational knock at Pune a few years ago when he grinded it out on a terrible pitch and against some exceptional bowling from the Indian spinners to score one of the best centuries of his test career, one can never discard a true genius.