Steve Smith Australian International Cricketer

Australian cricketer Steve Smith has carved out an exceptional career over the past decade-plus. Though his unconventional batting technique initially drew skepticism, Smith has silenced the doubters by racking up astounding statistics across all formats. Let’s recap his meteoric rise to stardom.

Batting Style and Early Promise

Steve Smith employs an unorthodox batting style full of fidgety mannerisms – shuffling frequently in the crease, relying primarily on his bottom hand’s control, and often ending up outside off-stump against right-handed bowlers with his stumps exposed. While this technique initially attracted criticism as a limitation, Smith soon shattered those perceptions. His hand-eye coordination, footwork against spin, and laser concentration skills compensate for any perceived weaknesses.

Smith demonstrated promise from a young age, playing first-class cricket for New South Wales at age 19 and representing Australia in Twenty20 internationals by 20. Though he originally gained selection as a bowling all-rounder, his batting soon took priority as his biggest strength.

Test and Captaincy Struggles then Ascension

After struggling in his first Test opportunities in 2010-2011, Smith found himself out of the team for two years. But his perseverance paid off with a return in 2013’s Ashes series. While his output was modest that year, Smith soon compiled a string of centuries cementing his status as one of Australia’s top batsmen.

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In late 2015, Smith was appointed Australian Test captain after Michael Clarke’s retirement. His batting reached new heights while leading the team – scoring over 1,000 runs against India and winning man of the series honors during a dominant 4-0 Ashes rout at home in 2017-2018.

Ball-Tampering Scandal and Yearlong Ban

Controversy struck while Smith captained Australia’s tour of South Africa in March 2018. During the third Test match, television cameras caught teammate Cameron Bancroft attempting to illegally alter the condition of the ball using sandpaper removed from his underwear.

Smith admitted his awareness of the “leadership group’s” tampering plot but pinned the primary blame on David Warner. Cricket Australia slapped Smith with a 1-year ban from international/domestic cricket for bringing the game into disrepute and stripped him from consideration of any leadership role for another year.

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Dominant Ashes Return and Ongoing Brilliance

After serving his suspension, Smith exploded back onto the scene during 2019’s Ashes series in England. He smoked twin centuries in the first Test and racked up a total 774 runs for the series – the most by any player. His superhuman batting across multiple epic innings proved instrumental in Australia retaining the Ashes.

In late 2021, on the heels of Tim Paine’s resignation from Australia’s Test captaincy due to scandal, Smith returned to a leadership role as newly appointed captain Pat Cummins’s vice-captain. While no longer the official skipper, his tactical acumen provides invaluable support behind the scenes.

Smith has maintained world-beating batting form in recent years, surging up the all-time runs and centuries lists for Australia. Though his unconventional technique remains much-discussed, the consistent awe-inspiring statistical output speaks for itself. Steve Smith has clearly cemented himself as one of Australia’s greatest modern batting phenoms.

Career-Defining Numbers and Milestones

Let’s run through some of the eye-popping numbers that underscore Steve Smith’s brilliance with the bat:

  • Holds a career Test batting average of 60+ – second only to Don Bradman all-time
  • Fastest player ever to reach 7000, 8000, and 10,000 runs across all formats
  • 32 Test centuries and counting – reached in fewest innings of any Australian batsman
  • Currently ranked No. 1 Test batsman by ICC Player Rankings
  • Has scored over 500 runs in a mindblowing 4 straight Ashes series
  • Captained Australia to 2015 Cricket World Cup championship
  • Won numerous individual honors including ICC Test Player of the Year (2015, 2017) and Allan Border Medal (2015, 2018, 2021, 2023)
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Few players in cricketing history can rival the sustained dominance across formats that Smith has maintained despite fluctuating circumstances. While leadership missteps have occurred, his pure batting statistics and accolades cement his legacy as an Australian great.

At only age 33, more chapters of Smith’s story likely await. But he has already assembled a Test career worthy of one day joining compatriots like Bradman, Ponting, and Warne in the Hall of Fame through sheer weight of numbers and accomplishments.

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