FROM ANOTHER PLANET – STEVE SMITH

Australian cricket batting superstar Steve Smith has taken his game to a level no-one in the world right now can match, at least certainly not in T20 cricket.

Steve Smith - Another Century...

In the current Big Bash competition, Smith came in late in the competition for the Sydney Sixers having been on test duties prior to that and has performed on a level no-one see in the completion can come close to matching. 

In just four innings, he sits eighth on the run list with 328 at an average of 109.33 and an incredible strike rate of 180.21 and he’s blasted 24 sixes, the most in this year’s competition to date. Smith looked as though he was on target to score his third successive ton in the Big Bash before he missed a knee high full toss from Nathan Ellis and was out LBW. His scores in the competition to date have been 36, 101, 125 not out and 66.

To illustrate what impact arguably Australia’s greatest batsman behind only the late Sir Donald Bradman, has had on this season’s Big Bash in his cameo appearance. The next best strike rate of those who have faced 100 deliveries is Hobart Hurricanes player Tim David at 163.55. The next best average is Brisbane Heat’s Nathan McSweeney at 59 although he’s only played three matches. David and Matt Short have the next most sixes with 18 each from 13 matches.

Smith’s Sydney Sixes captain Moises Henriques and another vastly experienced teammate, left-arm spinner Steve O’Keeffe both said Smith’s century at the Sydney Cricket Ground, just a few days after he had smashed his first T20 ton at Coffs Harbour, was the greatest T20 innings they had ever seen.

Henriques said Smith looked as though he was batting on another pitch because everyone else struggled to time the ball because of the slow pace.

It’s hard to believe Smith can’t make the Aussie T20 side but his form this year both at test level and T20 has reached new heights because like all great players his game has evolved, he has basically self coached himself to play with a more side on stance allowing him to access his hitting zone easier with more power.

Phenominal...

He’s a rare breed Smith, an out and out superstar who just by playing in a match attracts thousands of people to come and watch just as they did years ago when Bradman was obliterating opposition bowling attacks. 

His appetite for runs and they way he prepares for matches is unmatched and to be able to switch from test mode to T20 mode in a short space of time is phenominal. None of his Australian test team-mates have been able to switch with any real success as yet. 

Best news is that Smith will be available for the Sydney Sixes semifinal against round-robin winners the Perth Scorchers at the magnificent Optus Stadium in Perth this weekend. That game should attract a full house and unless the Scorchers get Smith out early it’s going to make it even more difficult for the home side to win, despite how rare it is for visiting sides to win in Perth.

The presence of the majority of the Australian test side in the Big Bash is another contributing factor to why crowds have flocked back in droves this season after a couple of years where everything went a bit flat.

I’ve only watched Steve Smith live once that was a few years back at Lancaster Park in Christchurch when New Zealand beat Australia in a thrilling one-day 50 over match chasing down 340 win. Smith batted down the order and at that stage was seen more of a leg-spinner/batting all-rounder. How things have changed.

At test level he’s played 92 matches, scoring 8,647 runs at an average of 60.9 and taken 151 catches. In one-day internationals he’s scored 4,917 from 139 matches averaging 45.1.

He’s already scored 30 test centuries and 12 ODI tons, goodness knows how many he will finish up with but for now just sit back and admire one of the greatest players ever demolish bowling attacks in all formats of the game.

Interview & Story by John Alexander | Supporting Images sourced by Absolutely Famous.

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