Steve Smith has become a legend in Test cricket with his incredible consistency in the format, giving way to some outrageous career numbers. Smith's stature has gone up by leaps and bounds so much so that he is now discussed as one of the best ever to grace the game in the longest format. Here we take a glance at three best Test knocks by the Aussie.
211 vs England - Manchester, 2019
In the fourth Test of the Ashes series in England in 2019, Steve Smith, returning from missing a Test owing to a concussion, slammed a brilliant 211 in 319 balls even as the next best batter from his mates made 67. Smith was the architect in chief for Australia as they built a mammoth first innings total of 497 to seal the fate of the Ashes.
Returning after missing a Test to cracking a double hundred at the intimidating Old Trafford makes it one of Smith's best ever knocks in the longest format of the game. He followed it up with 82 off 92 balls in the second innings to easily walk away with the Man of the Match award.
178* vs India - Ranchi, 2017
Scoring big in India as a non-Asian batsman in Test cricket is nigh impossible unless you are supremely talented and diligent. Steve Smith was everything an Asian batsman needs to be in this Ranchi Test of 2017 when he carried the Aussies with an outrageous effort in the first innings. Opting to bat, Australia had to make a huge first innings total to stave India off and Smith did it with aplomb, taking on the spinners and nurdling them for runs.
His 178* was effortless and came off 361 balls even as wickets fell around him. Smith remained unbeaten as Australia made 451 in the first innings. The game ended in a draw as Australia's second innings never got completed. It, however, remains a landmark innings by a non-Asian in India in Test cricket.
215 vs England - Lord's 2015
Lord's bore witness to a Steven Smith special in 2015 when he orchestrated a massive 405-run win for the visitors against England. Batting first, Australia racked up a mammoth total of 566/8 before declaring as Steven Smith made 215, combining with Chris Rogers in a stand of 284 for the second wicket. Smith hit 25 fours and a six in his 346-ball knock and later made another half-century in the second innings to drive the nail into England's coffin.
The remarkable purple patch Smith hit was perhaps started around 2015 and this knock remains a pivotal one in his career for the sheer difficulty in terms of conditions and opposition bowlers. The legend of Steven Smith was inscribed into the Lord's honours board with this mesmerising knock five years back.
Feature image courtesy: AFP / Paul Ellis