As the former Australia captain celebrates his 33rd birthday, let’s take a trip down memory lane and revisit five of his greatest Test knocks.
The game of cricket is filled with fascinating tales and Steven Peter Devereux Smith’s story is no different. The talismanic Australian batsman who debuted against Pakistan as a leg-spinner has risen to the ranks of the all-time batting greats. Here’s a snippet of the knocks that made the world stop and admire Smith’s unorthodox batting prowess.
2013 Perth: 113 vs England
The match that shaped & changed Steve Smith‘s career to what it is today. The English bowling attack wreaked havoc on the Aussie batters as they were reduced to 143 for 5 wickets. The Australian wicketkeeper-batsman Brad Haddin was in the form of his life but he wanted some support from the other end to rescue his team. Amidst all the criticism, Steve Smith walked in, joined Haddin on the pitch, and scored 113 off 208 deliveries which included 14 fours and two sixes. He went on to bat with the tail and added a valuable 59 runs with Mitchell Johnson. As a result, Australia posted a decent total of 385 runs on the scoreboard.
Melbourne 2014: 192 vs India
Steven Smith and the Indian bowling attack is something that looks like a match made in heaven. When in Australian whites, Smith makes sure that he makes the most against the Indian bowling attack. Boxing Day Test match is something that is of great value to the Australian players. Rising to the occasion in 2014, Steven Smith smashed 192 runs against the Indian boys which is still considered one of the greatest Test innings he ever played. Smith displayed great temperament and batted for almost 433 minutes. The match further saw a great display of batting from Virat Kohli & Ajinkya Rahane too and after this match concluded, MS Dhoni announced his retirement from the red ball format.
Jamaica 2015: 199 vs West Indies
Due to his unorthodox trigger movement, Steve Smith had been criticized heavily by many cricketing purists all across the globe. Unbothered by the criticism he attracted, Steve Smith continued to pile on runs for himself & his side. Kingston, Jamaica which has a tricky surface was a witness to another Steve Smith special. As the West Indies pacers rattled the Australian top order, Smith took the onus upon himself and scored a spectacular 199 against the Caribbean bowling attack. To his misfortune, the former Aussie skipper was dismissed on 199 which made him the third Australian batsman to be dismissed on the same score.
Pune 2017: 109 vs India
The subcontinent pitches have a reputation of being rank-turners and the wicket of Pune was no different. The nature of the Indian pitches always makes it difficult for the traveling teams to defeat them in their backyard. This needs a special mention that the Indian batsmen too found the Pune wicket extremely tricky and were wrapped up for 105 and 107 in both the innings. As the nature of the Border-Gavaskar has it, Steve Smith left no stone unturned and faced the Indian spinners valiantly. He went on to score 109 runs which later helped the Australian team to clinch the series by 33 runs.
Edgbaston 2019: 144 against England
This can be certainly termed as the “mother of all comebacks”, Steve Smith who was returning to the Australian team after the sandpaper gate got a large amount of flak from the local crowd. There was a roar of boos every time he went in to bat. Defying all odds and maintaining the nerves of steel in the first Ashes Test match, Steve Smith smashed 144 runs in the first innings and he later followed it up by 142 runs in the second innings which helped Australia win it by a mammoth 285 runs.