Steve Smith is already a legend at halfway through his career. He is second to Sir Don Bradman in the ICC test ratings. Australian legend Ricky Ponting rates Steve Smith as a much better player than himself , someone who can shatter his record of 41 test hundreds.
Steve Smith had a terrific form with the bat in the ashes series . He emerged as the leading run scorer with 687 runs at an average of over 100. He has an average of 62.49 in tests , with 23 hundreds in just 64 matches. His average also makes him the 2nd in test cricket after Sir Don Bradman.
But when it comes to limited format or T20 , Steve Smith is certainly not even half of what he is in test cricket. Out of the fab four, Smith has the worst T20 average. He failed to contribute in the ODI matches against England in those 5 matches where he averaged just 20.4 .
Steve Smith had failed even in the Australia’s tour of India , where he had an average less than 30 with only 142 runs. It’s evident that he is a poor player in the shorter formats of the game.
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Long absence from T20 formats
Steve Smith had last played a T20 international way back in March 2016 during the T20 Worldcup. Australia had failed miserably where they couldn’t cross the group stage. Smith , as usual had no match winning contributions.
In 4 matches that he played ,he could amass only 83 runs with a strike rate of just 120. Smith, being a legend in one format , and a complete failure in the other is something that Australia needs to look at.
Australia’s tour of South Africa in the early part of 2016 didn’t provide any success to Smith . He averaged 23 and again had played with strike rate of near around 120.
Moreover, Smith couldn’t participate in the Big Bash tournament due to the high octane Ashes series. Probably the last time when Smith had made his mark would be the IPL 2017. He played with an average of 40 and took his team to the finals.
Smith’s lack of T20 play will bring more problems for him. His on-going test series vs South Africa will further delay his T20 performance and practice sessions. With less than a month left for the commencement of the Indian Premier League , all eyes would be on Steve Smith as to how quickly he will adapt to the fast paced environment.
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Steve Smith- Captain of the Rajasthan Royals
Being the captain of the Rajasthan Royals, he would be expected to lead from front, set an example for others to follow. In fact couple of franchises have even started their practice sessions. That further would add pressure ont him.
Rajasthan Royals is making a comeback after a gap of 2 years and with their present squad, fans seem to have high expectations from them. Not only Smith would be playing in front of home crowd of Rajasthan, he was the only player to have been retained by the franchise.
Steve Smith had shown content with his captaincy and batting skills in the previous edition of IPL. Thus the owners have put lot of faith in appointing him as the captain of the side. If Smith fails to make an impact this season , then he would have to go through a string of criticisms as is the case with cricketers.
Smith would have to somehow mould himself into an aggresive T20 player if he wants the support of his fellow mates , fans and franchise owners. Smith might give nightmares to the bowlers when it comes to test cricket, but that’s not the case with him in T20 format.
Especially when there are players like Steve Smith , the bowlers won’t leave any stone un-turned to get the better of him. let us see if Smith is able to continue his hunger for runs in the T20 format of the game as well.