With Steve Smith continuing his love affair with India by blasting his third century of the series on the first day of the Dharamsala Test, former Australia skipper Ian Chappell has heaped lavish praise on the Aussie batsman.
On a Dharamsala pitch where the other Australian batsmen were finding it tough to face Kuldeep Yadav, it looked like Smith was batting on a different pitch until he misjudged an angled delivery from Ravichandran Ashwin and was caught at slip for 111. The century was his seventh against India and he also became the first batsman in the ongoing series to cross the 400-run mark. The brilliant knock also made him only the second captain after Alastair Cook to score three centuries in one series against India.
“I just can’t believe how easy he makes batting look. I have seen a lot of Test cricket, I have played a lot of Test cricket and I certainly don’t remember batting being that easy. But at the moment, I think the Indians have not really done much to unsettle Steve Smith,” Chappell told ESPNcricinfo.
Chappell further credited the Australia skipper for not getting complacent despite batting like a dream against the Indian team.
“If a batsman is playing really well, you have got to try and do things to change his footwork, change his approach to batting. I don’t think Steve Smith really feels at the moment that India can get him out and when you have got that sort of comfort, you can play quite easily,” he said.
“But to Steve Smith’s credit, when things are coming as easy as they looked to Steve Smith, that’s when you can make a mistake. You can get a bit overconfident but this is where Steve Smith’s concentration and determination kicks in. Even though he is making it look easy, he doesn’t have a let up in that concentration and determination to succeed. He does allow himself to stay relaxed because every time they give him something loose, he picks it off and that also helps you to relax as a batsman. But it’s been an unbelievably good series for Steve Smith,” he concluded.
Meanwhile, the visitors were bowled out for 300 in their first innings. Smith top-scored for his team while David Warner and Mathew Wade hit half-centuries. Kuldeep Yadav was the most successful bowler with figures of 4 for 68.