Steve Smith has gone through a complete turnaround in recent months. Nobody could have scripted this. From scandal to boos & whistles to a standing ovation at the Ashes, he has redeemed himself & how. And while doing so he has also etched his name in record books.
Smith scored a massive 774 runs in just 7 innings at an average of 110.57 that includes 2 centuries, 1 double century & 3 fifties. His tally has become the fifth-highest runs scored in all-time Ashes list. And he has done all this despite missing Test Cricket for more than 16 months. Moreover, Smith ended up missing 3 innings in the series through injury concerns.
He has been subjected to boos all the time since walking out for the first time in the series. But as he walked out one last time, little did he know the haters will have turned into his admirers, such is the power of the willow. Smith got dismissed for 23 in the final test to Stuart Broad. This was his lowest score of the series & the only time he didn’t score a fifty. But that didn’t matter, as his earlier heroics which many think is probably the best test batting performance in recent times, had won fans over. Australian, English, or any other countrymen it didn’t matter where they came from. You just had to be a cricket lover to appreciate the magic that Smith created out there.
Let’s have a look at the number of records Smith reached this series –
– Highest runs scored by a batsman in Test series since 1994. Brian Lara had reached 778.
– Smith scored 10 consecutive 50+ scores against England in the course of this year’s Ashes. No other batsman has done this against any opposition in history.
– 774 runs he scored is the 5th highest runs scored in the Ashes to date. It is also the highest tally scored since 1989.
– Smith joins an elite list of batsmen who have scored 700+ runs in a Test series more than once. He had also scored 769 against India in the 2014-15 series. The other batsman is – Don Bradman, Sunil Gavaskar, Brian Lara, Everton Weekes & Gary Sobers.
This is what he had to say on his incredible summer & road to redemption after facing the worst phase of his career – “It’s been an amazing couple of months in England, the cricket’s been spectacular, the series has ebbed and flowed, loved every minute and proud to have been able to perform for Australia and bring the urn home.. I was pretty cooked mentally and physically and I am looking forward to a couple of weeks off and heading back for the Australian summer.”