Australian batting mainstay Steve Smith has evolved as one of the greatest batsman in recent times ever since making a stellar return to international cricket. The aftermath of the infamous sandpaper gate kept him away from the action for 12 long months and the hardships only fueled the cricketer within.
And once he donned the Australian jersey back, he changed the face of Cricket Australia by decimating a plethora of records.
The batting maestro was back with a bang and Australia's arch rivals, the Englishmen, had to pay the price. He had an incredible Ashes series in England as he amassed 774 runs at a staggering average of 110.57 in the seven innings he played.
Test cricket has been Smith forte but he struggles with the bat in the shortest format of the game. While the former skipper is aiming to better his skills before the World T20 2020 at home, former Pakistan pacer Shoaib Akhtar is amazed by the technique.
The latter’s statement came after the former Aussie skipper scored an unbeaten 80 off just 51 deliveries, guiding his team to a 7-wicket win against the visiting Pakistan in the second T20I of the ongoing three-match rubber.
“I am surprised how he does it. He has no technique or style but has bravery. So he is very effective. He reaches the pitch of the ball and was severe on Mohammad Amir,” Akhtar said in a video uploaded on his YouTube channel.
The former legendary spearhead turned so emotional while lauding Smith that he went on say that he might have tried hurting the batsman if he had been there in his times.
“I do not know how he does it. If he was playing in my time, would have definitely hit him (3 or 4 on his face). I would have tried to hurt him. But it's impossible to hurt this guy, he's playing so well, he's one of a kind. Wish him best of luck.”
Akhtar may have had heaped praises on the former Aussie skipper but the truth is, the latter seriously wishes to turn his batting sharper in the quickest setup. With an average of 27.48 in 35 matches, Smith believes he needs to improve his record in T20I cricket.
“If you look at my batting record in T20 internationals, it's not crash hot,” Smith said after winning the 2nd T20I against Pakistan on Tuesday.
“I guess you have to bear in mind ... (early in my career) I was batting No.8 or 9, coming in and slogging, facing half a dozen balls tops. It's never easy, so it's going to affect your record at some point. I don't doubt my ability. I know the tempos of the game. I've played a lot of (T20) cricket now. I may not be as strong as some of the other guys, but I use placement and timing,” he added.
The facts may force Smith to toil hard but his efforts have proved his mettle pretty loud. With David Warner regaining form in the recent outing and Smith already enjoying the purple patch, this Australian team can wreck any opposition in the upcoming Big Dance.