"He is like wine that gets better with time", and this statement goes apt for this man who has given all of us many games to remember. Steve Smith, who made an impactful comeback not just after a ban of one year but also after a serious concussion injury during the second game of Ashes against England. The kind of temperament he is having right now is something that no one has done it in almost a decade. His Ashes scores have been 144, 142, 92, 211 and 82, which is legendary for any cricketer.
Smith is getting a lot of praise as Australia have retained Ashes after defeating England by 185 runs at Old Trafford in the fourth Test. Not only his own team has hailed Smith's marvel but England's Joe Root also praised the batsman and explained how Smith's batting has costed the hosts the Urn. In this test, Smith has continued his high-volume form where he has made 671 runs at an average of 134.2 with three centuries and two half-centuries. This is something that we do not see on a regular basis.
A boss like comeback
There's just no doubt about the fact that this Ashes campaign belongs to Steve Smith. And this one's indeed special because the ball-tampering incident forced the former Australia captain to a one year ban where he stopped playing cricket. And after such a humiliating situation any cricketer would have been crushed in embarrassment.
We saw him apologizing to the whole world, to his friends, family, and fans for the mistake that he had done, but still going to it must have been difficult as everything that belonged to him was at stake. The horror of the shame was more than enough to destroy him as a player. And to put everything of that behind and score runs in abundance for his nation has shown not only his fighting spirit but his sportsman spirit as well. Before his stupendous comeback, Smith's name only highlighted the ball-tampering incident and along with that how much shame he brought to his country and the Australian cricket team. But with his astounding comeback, the fans are not only proud of him, but they also feel that he has made up for his mistake and has come back stronger and all positive. And now the bad days will only remain as a passing reference.
Earlier it was Ben Stokes who stunned everyone by handing over England a victory that was never theirs and now it is Smith. The bar of cricket has been tremendously raised right from the beginning of the World Test Championship. The purpose of WTC itself was to make test cricket popular among fans and it looks like the fans are now more excited towards test cricket.
Neck-to-neck with Virat Kohli
We all know that Virat Kohli is the best batsman in the world, but what does the current situation say? Well, it says that Steve Smith has become our personal favorite as Virat Kohli looks completely out of form right from the World Cup and now in WTC as well. But that is not a point to argue over here as every batsman goes through that phase. But right now all we know that Steve Smith is having a fairytale Ashes and now is third in the list of a batsman with most numbers after three matches in a Test series. The former Australia skipper is now ahead of Pakistan's Mohammad Yousuf and Indian skipper Virat Kohli while the list is topped by England legend Graham Gooch and West Indies' Brian Lara.
The competition between the two best batsmen is certainly neck-to-neck, Smith has 6,870 runs with 26 centuries and 26 fifties while Kohli is trailing with 6,749 runs with 25 hundreds and 22 half-centuries. Though Kohli is still statistically ahead of Smith, in test cricket now it would be really exciting to see who stays ahead in the race as India just started their WTC campaign. For now, Steve Smith is called the World's number one Test batsman as he has surpassed Virat Kohli in Rankings with his staggering numbers.
He was cheered by those people in England who booed him during the ICC World Cup. The ball-tampering incident is now a history that true Smith fans do not even want to go back to.
(Disclaimer: The opinions expressed are the personal views of the author. The facts and opinions appearing in the article do not reflect the views of Devdiscourse and Devdiscourse does not claim any responsibility for the same.)