Cometh the hour, cometh the skipper of Australia in the form of Steven Smith, who’s a strong force to reckon when it comes to holding the bat even in a dire situation on a surface which has had assisted the bowlers.
After reaching his highest average in his career, Smith remained unbeaten in the first Test at the Gabba in Brisbane against England in the Ashes 2017-18 series opener. Post the completion of 105 Test innings; Smith is averaging 61.23 concurrently which further saw Australia getting restricted to 328 in the first innings.
Smith, who scored runs at the strike-rate of 43.25, has subsequently surpassed Windies Sir Garry Sobers’ average of 61.14 after 105 Test innings.
Steve Smith's current average 61.23 is the highest he has reached in his career. Also highest for any batsman in Test history with at least 100 innings. #Ashes
— Mazher Arshad (@MazherArshad) November 25, 2017
The New South Wales-born Smith’s batting average is further highest for any batsman who at least has had played 100 innings for the respective teams in the history of Test cricket.
Interestingly, Smith in the fourth Test fixture against India in Dharamsala early this year had even crossed past 62 after reaching the first innings average of 61.58 at the same venue while considering his innings in a nutshell. Following the defiant and patient knock, Smith helped the hosts after early jolts left them on the edge when they were reeling at 76 for four in 24.5 overs, before the unorthodox batsman alongside Shaun Marsh build-up the innings to give Australia the lead of 26 runs in the first innings.
Prolific Smith smashed 14 boundaries in his unbeaten knock of 141 after facing the marathon of 326 deliveries. For the eighth-wicket, Smith alongside Pat Cummins (42 off 120 balls), registered a 66-run stand after Marsh forged a 99-run stand for the fifth wicket alongside his team leader.
(Read Further: Ashes 2017-18 First Test: Day Three Report)
In 2015 Ashes on the England soil, Smith also brought up his Test best of 215 at the iconic Lord’s on 16th of July when he faced 346 deliveries which revealed how he had transformed himself into a batsman after starting off his career as a leg-spinner.
With one innings to go, Smith has played a significant role with the willow for the Kangaroos to achieve the milestones in the five-day format. As many would believe legendary Sir Donald Bradman is topping the charts, but he has played only 80 innings after representing Australia in 52 Tests. The right-handed batsman Bradman amassed 6,996 runs at the staggering average of 99.94. He smashed 29-hundred and 13 fifties.
However, at stumps on day three of the first Test in Brisbane, England is leading by seven runs after the Three Lions were 33 for two in 16 overs. For Australia, Hazlewood claimed both the wickets after conceding 11 runs in five overs.
VIDEO OF THE DAY:
Opening batsman Mark Stoneman is batting on 19 off 49 balls and skipper Joe Root faced 28 deliveries to score five.