Steve Smith (cricketer)

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Steve Smith
Refer to caption
Smith in 2014
Personal information
Full name Steven Peter Devereux Smith
Born (1989-06-02) 2 June 1989 (age 28)
Sydney, New South Wales, Australia
Nickname Smudge[1]
Height 176 cm (5 ft 9 in)[2]
Batting Right handed
Bowling Right-arm leg spin
Role Top-order Batsman
International information
National side
Test debut (cap 415) 13 July 2010 v Pakistan
Last Test 4 January 2018 v England
ODI debut (cap 182) 19 February 2010 v West Indies
Last ODI 28 January 2018 v England
ODI shirt no. 49
T20I debut (cap 43) 5 February 2010 v Pakistan
Last T20I 27 March 2016 v India
T20I shirt no. 49
Domestic team information
Years Team
2007–present New South Wales (squad no. 19)
2010 Royal Challengers Bangalore
2011 Worcestershire
2011 Kochi Tuskers Kerala
2011–present Sydney Sixers
2012–2013 Pune Warriors India
2013 Antigua Hawksbills
2014–2015 Rajasthan Royals
2016–2017 Rising Pune Supergiants
Career statistics
Competition Test ODI FC LA
Matches 61 108 114 154
Runs scored 6,057 3,431 10,234 5,226
Batting average 63.75 41.84 58.81 45.44
100s/50s 23/23 8/19 37/43 10/32
Top score 239 164 239 164
Balls bowled 1,297 1,046 4,980 1,988
Wickets 17 27 65 46
Bowling average 54.35 34.48 54.01 38.78
5 wickets in innings 0 0 1 0
10 wickets in match 0 0 0 0
Best bowling 3/18 3/16 7/64 3/16
Catches/stumpings 89/– 62/– 164/– 91/–
Source: ESPNcricinfo, 19 February 2018

Steven Peter Devereux Smith (born 2 June 1989) is an Australian international cricketer, and currently the captain of the Australia national cricket team across all three formats. He also represents New South Wales Blues, and Sydney Sixers in domestic cricket.[3]

Although he was initially selected for Australia as a right-arm leg spinner,[4] Smith now plays primarily as a batsman.[5] After a few tests in 2010 and 2011, he has been a regular player in the Australian team since 2013, and took over captaincy from Michael Clarke in late 2015. Since then he has primarily batted at number 4. He is often regarded as one of the best test batsman in the world.[6]

As of January 2018, Smith is the top-ranked Test batsman in the world, according to the ICC Player Rankings.[7] On 30 December 2017 he reached a Test batting rating of 947, the second highest of all time only behind Don Bradman's 961.[8]

Awards he has won include the Sir Garfield Sobers Trophy (ICC Cricketer of the Year) in 2015; ICC Test Player of the Year in 2015, 2017; [9] the Allan Border Medal for the best player in Australian Cricket in 2015, 2018; Australian Test Player of the Year: 2015, 2018 [10] and Australian One-Day International Player of the Year: 2015.[10] He was named by Wisden as one of their Cricketers of the Year for 2015.[11][12] In 2014, Martin Crowe described Smith as one of the young Fab Four of Test Cricket along with Joe Root, Kane Williamson and Virat Kohli.[13][14]

Early life[edit]

Smith was born in Sydney to an Australian father, Peter, who has a degree in chemistry and works with pigments and waxes,[15] and an English mother, Gillian.[16] He was educated at Menai High School, but at the age of 17 he dropped out of the Higher School Certificate (HSC) to play cricket in England.[17][18]

Domestic cricket career[edit]

Smith with New South Wales in 2008

Smith made his first-class debut against Western Australia at the SCG on 24 January 2008. He scored 33 in his only innings as NSW defeated WA outright.[19]

Smith was the leading wicket taker at the 2008 KFC Big Bash tournament. He took 4/15 against Queensland and finished with 9 wickets overall.[10] He was also named the second best player of the tournament.[20]

He was part of the New South Wales team that won the 2009 Twenty20 Champions League. In the final against Trinidad and Tobago at Hyderabad, Smith made 33 with the bat and took two wickets.[21]

By the end of the 2009–10 domestic season Smith had a first-class batting average of over 50 after 13 first-class matches. While his first-class bowling average in the high forties was not as impressive, his bowling appeared to be steadily improving following some well-publicised mentoring and high praise from Shane Warne.[22] In the final match of the season he took 7 for 64 in the second innings against South Australia.[23]

2009–2011: Early International career and debut[edit]

Steve Smith made his international cricket debut in a T20 international match playing as a leg spinner against Pakistan at Melbourne in February 2010. The same month, he made his one-day international debut against the West Indies also at Melbourne, playing in the fifth match of the series.[10]

In the 2010 ICC World Twenty20 competition held in the West Indies, Australia finished runners up to England. Smith took 11 wickets in seven matches at an average of 14.81 to finish as the equal second highest wicket-taker of the tournament.[24]

Smith made his Test debut at Lords in July 2010, playing both Tests against Pakistan in the 2010 Test series played in England.[10] He was selected mainly for his bowling, and batted down the order, although his bowling was not required in the first innings. In the second innings, he took 3 wickets for 51 as Australia won by 150 runs.[25] In the second Test he was called to bowl only ten overs and took no wickets, although he played an impressive role with the bat in the second innings. Batting with the tail, he scored 77 including nine fours and two sixes off successive balls, helping Australia to set a competitive target after having been bowled out for 88 in the first innings.[26]

Smith's fielding attracted attention during the 2009–10 season with some spectacular catches in the outfield.[27]

In the 2010–11 Australian summer, Smith played three Tests in the 2010–11 Ashes series, this time playing more as a batsman, taking the number six spot in the order. His performances were solid during the series, getting a number of starts and scoring two half centuries. Following the 2010–11 Ashes, Smith did not play another Test for two years, his next Test series coming against India in March 2013.

2013–15: Return and breakthrough[edit]

Tour to India and back to back Ashes 2013–14[edit]

Smith in 2014

Smith's return to the test team came during the 2013 tour of India. In the previous two Sheffield seasons his form had been good without being great (averaging 37), but he was chosen for the 17-man squad, primarily as a backup batsman, rather than an allrounder as he had been in the test team previously.[28] Smith was chosen for the third test in Mohali, his first in over two years, when four players were dropped for "not doing their homework".[29][30][31]

In his first match innings in India he scored 92 before being stumped by Dhoni from a delivery by Pragyan Ojha, and in the second innings he later scored 5 runs.[32] In the final Test match at Delhi, Smith made 46 and 18 runs respectively but was unable to win the Test match as India secured a 4–0 win against Australia.

Following Australia's 4–0 horror defeat in India, Australia's next series was against England in the British Isles in July. Although the squad for the 2013 Ashes were finalised in April, Smith was the vice-captain of Australia's A team and was later called into the main squad after showing some promise in the Australia's A tour to the United Kingdom in June where he made 133 runs against Ireland in Belfast but also as a backup batsman due to Michael Clarke's fitness concerns.[33][34] He played his first-class tour match with the main squad on 2 July 2013 in Worcester making 111 runs in both innings combined. In the first Test match at Trent Bridge he made a half century in his first innings but fell cheaply in the second innings getting out lbw by Graeme Swann. While making little impact at Lord's, Smith produced a century at Hove against Sussex on 27 July.[35]

In the third Test being 2–0 down to England, Australia moved up north to Old Trafford Cricket Ground in Manchester needing to win or draw to save the series. Smith made 89 and 19 runs respectively, but the third Test match stirred controversy about the on-field umpire's decisions and DRS (Decision Review System) causing Smith to surivive in two occasions and his teammate Usman Khawaja to be dismissed.[36][37] In the final Test, Smith scored his maiden Test century, which he achieved in the first innings of the last Test of the series at The Oval,[32] reaching the total in style by hitting a six off the bowling of Jonathan Trott. He became only the sixth Australian to reach his maiden Test 100 with a six.[38] At the end of the series, the urn was retained by England after winning the series 3–0. Smith played in all five tests, scoring 345 runs at an average of 38.33.

Smith was called in the Ashes XI squad for the first Test in Brisbane.[39] Despite a slow start in the first and second Test, Smith produced his first Test century on home soil in the third Test at Perth helping Australia display a total of 6–326 at stumps on the second day to later win the Test match and be awarded man of the match.[40][41] In the fourth Test he was dismissed at 19 by Stuart Broad but later on made another century in the final Test at the SCG, alongside with the partnership with Brad Haddin, helping Australia come back from 5–97 to 326 all out in the first innings and went on to win the Test match by 281 runs.[42][43] The victory in Sydney marked a 5–0 whitewash victory towards Australia after a dismal 3–0 loss during the winter period of 2013. Steve Smith made two centuries and produced 327 runs at an average of 36. Smith played just one ODI match during England's tour during 2013–14, in the 4th ODI at Perth where he made only 19 runs.

Tour of South Africa 2014[edit]

Following a 5–0 victory against England in the Ashes, Australia were scheduled three Test matches and three T20 matches in South Africa. In the first test at Centurion, Johannesburg, Smith made his fourth century and first in South Africa, where he and Shaun Marsh made a 233 run partnership from 4–98.[44] Australia won the test by 281 runs.[45] The second Test in Port Elizabeth saw a slower pitch as Smith made 49 and a duck and South Africa levelled the series 1–1. In the deciding Test match in Cape Town, Smith made 89 runs in the first innings and finished 36 not out in the second innings as Australia won the series 2–1.[46] Steve Smith produced 269 runs at an average of 67.55, the third best in the series and the second best by an Australian, second to David Warner.

Tri Series in Zimbabwe and UAE 2014[edit]

The five-month break of cricket activity saw a surprise pick of Smith called up for the 2014 Zimbabwe Tri-Series on the August 2014. Smith prior to the tour had two ODI matches in the last two years.[47] In his first match against Zimbabwe, he was run out by Sikandar Raza. He made scores in his thirties in his participating matches but only made 10 runs in the final against South Africa on 6 September, where South Africa went on to win the Tri-Series.

The squad later travelled to the UAE to face Pakistan in a T20 Match, three ODIs and two Tests. In the first and only T20 match, Smith made three runs before being dismissed and later won the single T20 match. Following the T20 matchup was 3 ODIs. In the first ODI at Sharjah Cricket Stadium, Smith made his first ODI century scoring 101 runs off 118 balls to push the visitors to a 1–0 lead in the series.[48] In the second ODI he made 12 runs and in the 3rd and final ODI he made 77 runs off 105 balls to win the ODI match by 1 run. However, during the match, Steve Smith's catch on Fawad Alam questioned whether his catch was within the ICC laws. The incident occurred when in the 18th over of Pakistan's chase of 231 where Xavier Doherty delivered the ball and before Fawad made contact with his paddle sweep, Smith had moved from first slip towards leg slip to intercept the shot. The legality of the catch continued to be the main talking point after the ODI Series and afterwards ICC made a press statement stating that: "As long as the movement of a close catching fielder is in response to the striker’s actions (the shot he/she is about to play or shaping to play), then movement is permitted before the ball reaches the striker. On the day, if umpires believe any form of significant movement is unfair (in an attempt to deceive the batsman), then the Law still applies."[49][50] The win saw Australia rise back to number one in the ICC ODI Rankings and Steve Smith was made man of the series for his batting performances.[51]

Transitioning into the Test series saw Australia's continued failure against reverse swing and spin in the subcontinent. In the warm-up match against Pakistan A in Sharjah, Australia lost by 153 runs where Smith made 58 but retired out.[52] In the first Test match in Dubai, Smith made 22 runs in the first innings and 55 runs in the second innings but collectively lost the Test match by 221 runs. In the second Test, Smith made a duck and 97 runs but Australia's woes against spin continues as Australia lose by 356 runs.[53] In the series he made 174 runs at an average of 43.5 runs.

India, South Africa and World Cup success 2014–15[edit]

Arriving back from the subcontinent following their 2–0 Test defeat against Pakistan. Smith played 4 ODI out of 5 series against South Africa where Australia defeated South Africa 4–1 in the ODI Series. He missed the first match due to selectors picking Shane Watson over Smith but later joined the remainder of the games due to Michael Clarke's hamstring injury.[54] In his first match in Perth hade registered 10 runs but in the continuing games he made: 73, 104 and 67 runs. Smith scored his first century on Australian soil in the 4th ODI at the MCG. Steve Smith was made man of the series and produced 254 runs, the highest Australian total in the series.

India arrived in Australia to play a tour Test match series and a tri-series ODI competition with England. The ODI Series began after the four Test series, preceding the 2015 Cricket World Cup. The Test series was played first and the first Test match was scheduled on 4 December in Brisbane, but was later postponed because of the death of Phillip Hughes. The first Test was later rescheduled to the Adelaide Oval on 9 December and Brisbane would be hosting the second Test on 17 December.[55] In the first Test match in Adelaide, the Australian players wore Hughes’ Test cap number 408 on their playing shirts for the match as well as black armbands in honour of their former teammate.[56] In the first Test match in Adelaide, Smith scored 162 runs in 298 balls in the first innings and made 53 runs in the second innings, defeating India by 48 runs into day five. This also marked Steve Smith's first Test century against India and at the Adelaide Oval.

On 15 December, Smith was named Australia's new vice-captain and following an injury to Michael Clarke, he was appointed stand-in skipper against India with Brad Haddin as his deputy.[57] He made his captaincy debut for Australia in the Second Test match against India at the Gabba.[58] He continued his batting form and made 133 runs in the first innings before being run-out in the second innings with a score of 28. Steve was made man of the match and Australia were 2–0 in the series, defeating India by 4 wickets. In the third Test at the Melbourne Cricket Ground, Smith made his third consecutive century in the first innings of the Test match scoring 192 runs in 433 balls. He also scored his 1,000th run in the 2014 calendar year, and became the eighth fastest Australian to reach 2000 Test runs, beating previous Australian captains such as Michael Clarke and Ricky Ponting.[59]

The final Test match at the Sydney Cricket Ground saw Smith in his fourth consecutive century against India. The achievement marked Steven Smith joined Don Bradman (6), Neil Harvey, Jack Fingleton and Matthew Hayden (4 each) as Australian centurions in four or more consecutive Tests, a streak Smith started during the 1st Test at Adelaide. Smith also became the first Australian skipper to open their captaincy with three consecutive centuries, and the second batsman since Jacques Kallis against West Indies to score a century in every match of a Test series.[60] The Test match ended in a draw as Australia defeated India 2–0 in the series, thus returning the Border–Gavaskar Trophy to Australia. The conclusion of the Test series saw Steven Smith man of the series, but also scoring 769 runs at an average of 128.16, the highest aggregate score in a four-test match series in Australia and also marked the highest number of runs scored against India by an Australian, surpassing Donald Bradman.[61][62]

Following the Test series, an ODI tri-series with India and England was confirmed in preparation for the upcoming Cricket World Cup hosted by Australia and New Zealand. In his first ODI match against England in Sydney, he was dismissed at 37 runs by Moeen Ali but continued to provide runs in the following matches leading to the final against England. En route to the tri-series final, Smith was handed his first ODI match on 20 January as the skipper after George Bailey was suspended for a slow-over rate earlier in the series.[63] Three days later, Smith scored his first ODI century against England producing 102 runs in 95 balls; the win saw Australia qualify for the final [64] and later defeating England to win the Carlton Mid Triangular Series in Australia 2014–15.

In the World Cup, Smith played a vital role as versatile batsman as he played in numerous batting positions from number three down to as a middle-order batsman. In his maiden World Cup game, he was dismissed early on 5 against England in the group stages, but later improved as the tournament progressed. After making half centuries against Afghanistan, Sri Lanka and Pakistan, he later steered Australia into the final after making a century against India in the semi-finals at the Sydney Cricket Ground.[65] In the final, Australia drew against fellow neighbours, New Zealand after defeating South Africa. Australia's target to chase 183 runs after a New Zealand collapse saw Steve Smith score 58 not out alongside the skipper, Michael Clarke as Australia won by 7 wickets with 101 balls remaining.[66]

Tour of the Caribbean and Ashes in England 2015[edit]

Smith playing for Australia in 2015

After winning the World Cup in March, Australia's winter schedule was later released with the Test team returned from their short break towards their two Test series against the West Indies in the Caribbean. Due to IPL commitments, Smith missed out on Australia's maiden warm up match against the West Indies Cricket Board President's XI on the 27th May. He later joined the Test squad in the first Test match in Windsor Park, and scored 25 and 5 runs respectively. In the second Test match in Sabina Park, Steve steered Australia to a first innings score of 399, where he made 199 and became the eighth man in Test history to be dismissed on 199.[67] Australia later won the match in positive fashion, beating the West Indies by 277 runs within four days and retained the Frank Worrell Trophy.[68] After his man of the match effort against the West Indies in the second Test, Smith became the second youngest player ever to reach the number 1 ICC Test batsmen ranking and just the eighth Australian to do so.[69]

The 2–0 victory against the West Indies gave Australia some momentum into the long waited Ashes series in the British Isles. While Australia's last tour in the British Isles was in 2013, the emergence of England's Joe Root and Australia's Steve Smith saw an awaited clash to determine the better batsman in the upcoming series.[70][71] With the Australians on good form and England drawing to New Zealand and West Indies gave Australia some confidence to the countdown to the first Test in Cardiff. Steve started positively in his first-class match with a century against Kent in Canterbury.[72] He was rested on the second first-class match and in the first Test match in Cardiff, Smith made 33 in both innings as England took a 1–0 lead in the series. In the second Test in Lord's, Smith produced 215 runs in his first innings, his highest Test score and became the first Australian to score a double-ton at Lord's since the second World War. His double century also made Smith pass 3000 Test runs, the third youngest Australia to reach the feat.[73][74] In his second innings he made 58 runs before Australia levelled the series in a 405 run rout.

In the third Test in Edgbaston, Smith made 7 and 8 runs respectively, both dismissed by Steve Finn, but Smith's low scores saw England take a 2–1 lead into the series. In the fourth Test in Trent Bridge, Australia needed a win to draw the series. With overcast conditions and a green top, Alistair Cook won the toss and elected to field. In the first innings, Smith was dismissed again cheaply by Stuart Broad with a score of 6, as Australia capitulated in the first session of a total 60 runs from 18.3 overs – is the quickest – in terms of balls faced – a team has been bowled out in the first innings of a Test match.[75] In the second innings, Smith was again caught by Ben Stokes in the slips from Stuart Broad with a meagre score of 5. England within three days regained the Ashes and took an unassailable 3–1 lead and critics began to question Smith's performances in seaming conditions.[76][77] Into the fifth and final Test match back at The Oval, Smith made his second century in the series registering 143 runs off 252 balls before being bowled by Steve Finn.[78] Australia later defeated England by an innings and 46 runs. However England regained the Ashes 3–2 after winning in Nottingham in early August and later saw the Test retirements of Australia's senior players: Michael Clarke, Chris Rogers and later Shane Watson, Ryan Harris and Brad Haddin.[79] Smith made 508 runs in the series, the most runs scored in the series.

2015–present: Ascension to captaincy[edit]

Steve Smith's record as captain
  Matches Won Lost Drawn Tied No result Win %
Test [80] 31 17 8 6 0 54.83%
ODI [81] 51 25 23 0 0 3 52.08%
T20I [82] 8 4 4 0 0 50.00%
Last updated: 28 January 2018

The retirement of Michael Clarke following Australia's 3–2 defeat in the 2015 Ashes series saw Smith appointed as the full-time captain of the Australian Test team. Fellow New South Welshman David Warner was appointed as his vice-captain.[83][84]

"At 26, he is a fine young man with extraordinary talent, excellent leadership qualities and a terrific temperament."
—former Australian cricketer Rod Marsh on Steven Smith.[83]

New Zealand, West Indies and ascension to captaincy 2015–16[edit]

Next followed a three Test home series against New Zealand. Smith's output in the first Test in Brisbane was modest, scoring 48 and 1, as the team romped home for a win in a high scoring game.[85] During the second Test, Smith scored 27 in the first innings before breaking the shackles with 138 in the second innings. This was Smith's first ever second innings century, all previous centuries having been scored in the first innings of a Test match. Australia went on to draw the second Test.[86] In the third Test, significant for being the first ever day-night Test held at the Adelaide Oval, Smith defied difficult batting conditions to register 53 in the first innings, before falling for 14 in the second innings. Australia won the match in a tight contest.[87]

Shortly after the series against New Zealand, a three Test series was to be held against the West Indies. During the first innings of the first Test, Smith was caught behind on 10, and did not bat again, due to Australia's dominance. The second Test was successful for the captain, scoring 134* and 70* in each respective innings, as Australia went on to seal a series victory.[88] Due to poor weather conditions, the third Test was a wash out, with very little play able to be held.

Tour of New Zealand and T20 World Cup 2016[edit]

A two Test return tour against New Zealand took place in February 2016. Smith looked to be in fine touch, registering 71, 138, and 53* in the three innings in which he batted, as the Australian team won 2–0.

During the T20 World Cup 2016, held in India, Smith struggled with form early, before registering 61 against Pakistan in a must-win pool match for Australia. Smith went on to score only 2 against India, as Australia were knocked out of the tournament.[89] It was believed that Smith was incorrectly given out, having clean missed a ball the umpires deemed to have been edged.

In Sri Lanka 2016[edit]

Smith then led the Australian Cricket Team on their tour of Sri Lanka. The three Test series was a disaster for the Aussies, losing 3–0.[90] Smith was Australia's highest run scorer in the series, scoring 247 runs at an average of 41, including one century and one fifty. Throughout the following ODI series, Smith averaged in excess of 40 across the first two matches, before leaving early for a rest.[91]

South Africa ODI Tour 2016[edit]

Australia's disappointing run of form continued into their ODI tour of South Africa. The lost the first 3 matches consecutively, largely attesting to their young bowling attack's inability to contain a strong South African batting line-up.[92] Smith was disappointing in output across the first two ODIs, before scoring 108 off 107 balls in the 3rd match, as he and David Warner helped Australia to 371.[93]

South Africa, New Zealand and Pakistan 2016–17[edit]

Smith playing for Australia in 2016

Following the 5–0 ODI defeat in South Africa, the Australian team returned home for a 3 Test series against South Africa. In the first Test Smith made a duck and 34 runs respectively, but made little impact and lost the Test match. In the second Test at Hobart, Smith made 48 runs in the first innings but the team capitulated and made a total score of 85 runs, but ended up losing the second Test.[94] Following the defeat, criticism of Smith's captaincy and the team's performance emerged which saw the influx of youth players such as Matt Renshaw, Peter Handscomb and Nic Maddison for last Test. After losing five consecutive Tests, Smith made 59 and 40 respectively, with the addition of his team performances to win the day-night Test match in Adelaide. The win in Adelaide avoided a 3–0 whitewash at home, as the 2–1 defeat marked Smith's series defeat at home.

After the Test series against South Africa, New Zealand played 3 ODIs in between the two Test series of South Africa and Pakistan. In the first ODI, Steve Smith registered 164 runs at the SCG, marking the highest ODI score at the ground, beating the previous score of 162 set by AB De Villiers during the 2015 World Cup.[95] With the addition of making a blinder, he was awarded man of the match. In the second ODI, he made 72 runs and in Melbourne of the final ODI he made a duck. The Australian team won the contested Chappell-Hadlee Trophy 3–0 and returned the trophy to Australia.[96]

Pakistan was scheduled to have three Test series and 5 ODIs. In the first Test in Brisbane, Smith made 130 and 63 runs. His century in Brisbane marked his 16th Test century, his first against Pakistan. Despite Pakistan being bowled out of a low score of 142 in the first innings, Smith's captaincy tactics sparked a mixed response from critics when the on-field umpires made the decision to increase the 4th day evening session for another thirty minutes, believing a result would be determined.[97][98][99] Pakistan made a 4th innings total of 450, as Australia won by 39 runs. The second Test match was held at the Melbourne Cricket Ground and Smith later placed his seventeenth century, the fourth fastest to do so and also reaching 1000 runs in the calendar year – his third consecutive in this achievement since 2014.[100][101] Despite intermittent rain, Australia managed an unlikely victory into the last session of day five, resulting in a 2–0 win for Australia.[102] In the final Test at the Sydney Cricket Ground marked Steve Smith's 50th Test match as Australia whitewashed 3–0 Pakistan. Following the victory, he was awarded Man of the Series after producing 441 runs – the most in the series from both sides.[103]

Smith was once again featured in ICC's 2016 Cricket Awards as a 12th man for the ICC Test team of the year.[104] In the ODI Series against Pakistan, Smith experienced mixed results but played a vital role and later ended up routing Pakistan 4–1 in the end. On 19 January 2017, Steve Smith produced his 8th ODI century against Pakistan at the WACA Ground – becoming the quickest Australian to reach 3000 ODI runs within 79 innings.[105] Following the home series, Smith was scheduled to tour 3 ODI matches against New Zealand for the Chappell–Hadlee Trophy but later sustained a mild "sprain" to the medial ligament in his left ankle and will head to Dubai in preparation for the upcoming four Test tour of India.[106]

Tour of India 2017[edit]

Following the training at ICC's Cricket Academy Centre in Dubai, Smith began the tour of India with a century in their maiden warm-up match in Mumbai. He replicated his ton in the first Test in Pune where he produced his first century in the Indian Subcontinent, accompanied by the support of his bowlers to win their first Test match in India since 2004 and breaking India's 19 match undefeated streak, stretching back from 2012.[107][108] In the 3rd Test match in Ranchi, which is the first ever Test match hosted at this venue, Steve Smith scored yet another century, 178* (not out). This is the third highest score by an Australian cricketer in Test matches played in India and the highest by an Australian Captain.[109] When scoring his century in Ranchi, Smith faced 361 balls, which is the most number of balls faced by him in a Test innings alongside his innings of 199 against the West Indies. In the fourth Test in Dharmasala, Smith scored an excellent 111 in the first innings which helped Australia to a first innings score of 300. In the second dig, Smith played on after scoring a rapid and threatening 17 off 15 balls.

Ashes series 2017-18[edit]

Smith at the Women's Ashes Test in November 2017

In the first test at Brisbane, Smith scored the first century of the series, 141 not out, which incidentally was his 21st Test century in his 105th innings - he is the third quickest to score 21 test centuries- behind Donald Bradman and Sunil Gavaskar.[110] On 16 December 2017 Smith scored 239 on the final Ashes match at WACA Ground. He was quick to score his 22nd century at the WACA, before he converted that into a career-best 239. It was his second double-hundred and his first as captain. In the fourth Ashes test at Melbourne, Smith continued his prodigious form when he scored 76 in the first innings before he was bowled by England debutant Tom Curran, providing him with his first wicket in test cricket. A series best 244* by England's Alastair Cook then placed Australia in a tense situation that saw them trail by 164 at the start of the fourth day. Coming in at 2/65 before lunch on a rain affected day four, Smith batted until the closure of play on day five and scored yet another century, finishing with a defiant 102* from 275 deliveries to guide Australia to a draw and to deny England's first victory in Australia since 2011. Smith concluded the 2017 calendar year with six centuries and three fifties along with an average of 76.76 and a total of 1305 runs, the highest of any player that year. During the final Ashes match in Sydney, Smith reached the milestone of 6000 Test runs in 111 innings, becoming the equal second-fastest player (in terms of innings), and also the youngest Australian, ever to do so.

He has garnered praises from opponent captain Joe Root for leading the team from the front, and in Root's opinion Smith was the difference between the two teams during 2017-18 Ashes series.[111][112]

Big Bash League[edit]

Smith made his domestic T20 cricket debut for New South Wales in a match against South Australia at Adelaide on 1 January 2008 during the six team KFC Big Bash competition.[113] In 2011–12, the Australian T20 competition became the city-based Big Bash League featuring eight teams. Smith joined the Sydney Sixers and filled in as captain when Brad Haddin could not play due to Test duties,[114] subsequently leading the team to victory in the inaugural season. As an all-rounder, he scored 166 runs with the bat from nine matches with a strike rate of 130.71, including one half century. With the ball, he took 6 wickets at an economy rate of 8.06 per over. He also took nine catches throughout the tournament.[115] In the final match, the Sixers beat Perth Scorchers by 7 wickets while chasing down the target of 157 within 18.5 overs after the Scorchers made 5/156 in 20 overs. Smith's good form during the Big Bash League, attracted the attention of former India Captain Sourav Ganguly, and was recruited to play for the Pune Warriors India team captained by Sourav Ganguly in the 2012 Indian Premier League. Smith had also captained the team in 1 match, when Ganguly was rested, despite Australian captain Michael Clarke being the vice-captain. He continued to play for the same franchise in 2013, under the captaincy of Angelo Mathews.

Indian Premier League[edit]

Smith was first bought by Royal Challengers Bangalore for the 2010 Indian Premier League as a replacement for Jesse Ryder.[116] During the 2011 IPL player auction, he was bought by Kochi Tuskers Kerala for $200,000,[117] but he had to undergo an ankle operation and was not available to play for them that season.[118]

The next season, Kochi Tuskers were dropped from the IPL and Smith was put up for auction. He went unsold at the 2012 IPL Players Auction, but was later bought as a replacement for Mitchell Marsh by the Pune Warriors India.[119] In his first match for his new team, he scored 39 runs off 32 balls to lead his team to victory against the Mumbai Indians. He received the Man of the Match award for this effort.[120]

In the auction for IPL 2014, Smith was bought by Rajasthan Royals for $600,000.[121][122] Smith was given the captaincy of the Royals in the latter half of the 2015 season and led the team to significant victories, thus ensuring a berth for his team in the play-off part of the tournament. He was bought by Rising Pune Supergiants for the same price ($600,000) in 2016 auctions.[121]

During the 2016 IPL, Smith was bought by new franchise the Rising Pune Supergiants, and struggled early for form. Smith finally broke a run of low scores against Sunrisers Hyderabad, scoring 46*. His form continued as he registered his maiden T20 century against the Gujarat Lions, scoring 101 off 54 balls.[123] He then went on to score a further 45 against the Mumbai Indians, before sadly being ruled out of the remainder of the tournament with a wrist injury.[124]

The Supergiant management axed MS Dhoni as captain and named Smith as captain for the 2017 season. In RPS's first game against Mumbai Indians, Smith led his team to victory in style, scoring 84* and was rewarded with the Man of The Match award. Three consecutive losses, however, left his team reeling at the last position in the points table. An incredible run of 8 wins in 10 matches helped Supergiant finish in the second position, and thus qualify for the play-offs, with Smith receiving praise for his captaincy from renowned cricketers and experts like Sunil Gavaskar and Kevin Pietersen. He led his team to the final with a 20 run victory over Mumbai Indians in Qualifier 1. In the final Smith's men faced Mumbai yet again. He scored 51 off 50 balls but could not lead RPS to victory. Pune lost the match by one run.

Playing style[edit]

Smith bowling for New South Wales in 2008

Smith is a right-handed batsman with a technique that has attracted attention for its unorthodoxy. He moves around frequently in the crease, especially during bowlers' run-up, and ends up with the toes of his feet outside off stump against right handers,[125] controls the bat with his bottom hand (that is, the hand closest to the blade of the bat), and is capable of playing unconventional cricket shots like the reverse sweep.[126] Playing in a club match in January 2010, right-handed Smith took guard left-handed and hit a six.[127] Due to his unorthodox style, Smith was initially labelled as a limited-overs batsman who might struggle in the longer form of the game, especially early in his career when he was vulnerable outside off stump.[126] However, Smith compensates for his unique technique with outstanding hand-eye coordination, and his footwork, especially to spin bowlers, is exemplary.[126] Smith spontaneously experimented with his technique during the Perth Test match in the 2013-14 Ashes, during which he decided to take a "preliminary back and across movement" to counter short-pitched bowling.[128] This change has taken his batting average from 33 to 63.55 as it stands as of 2018. At the time of delivery, Smith's stumps are fully covered, making bowled dismissals unlikely. This position also allows him to play to either the on or off side with ease.

Much of the credit for Smith's success can also be attributed to batting coach Trent Woodhill, who coached Smith as a junior and noted his abundant talent.[18] He has also defended Smith's unique batting style, and has long argued that in Australia, many naturally talented cricketers who may not necessarily have an orthodox technique are let down by over-coaching; in the years between leaving school and his elevation into international cricket, Smith had his technique picked apart by a number of well-intentioned coaches.[18] Since re-establishing his working relationship with Woodhill, Smith appears to have regained calm and confidence in his cricket, which has since produced results over the last few seasons.[129] Smith is also known for his concentration to be able to bat for long periods of time, even through a day's play.[130]

As a bowler however, after his quick rise up the batting order (until he became captain, and settled in at 4),[131] the comparisons to Shane Warne never gathered momentum. He was an able option as a leg spinner early in his career, but was under-utilised because he was described as a very defensive bowler.[132][133] In ODIs it becomes more apparent, as he will put himself on to bowl when others' economy rates are too high.

He has already been tagged as the second "Captain Grumpy" since Allan Border early in his captaincy reign, having to warn Mitchell Starc for unsportsmanlike behaviour, and being highly critical of the team's bowling and fielding despite beating New Zealand by over 200 runs.[134] Later, in 2017-2018, he publicly criticised Glenn Maxwell's training regimen when Maxwell was dropped from the Australian ODI squad.[135]

He has also been criticised for having too much influence over team selections.[136]

Personal life[edit]

Smith started dating Dani Willis, a commerce and law student at Macquarie University, in 2011.[137] In June 2017, the couple announced their engagement while on holiday in New York.[138] Smith owns a share in four racehorses.[137]


International centuries[edit]

Smith has scored 23 Test and 8 ODI centuries.

Twenty20 centuries[edit]

Twenty20 Centuries of Steve Smith
# Runs Balls 4s 6s For Against Venue Year
1 101 54 8 5 Rising Pune Supergiants Gujarat Lions Pune 2016

Career best performances[edit]

Score Fixture Venue Season
Test 239 Australia v England WACA Ground, Perth 2017[143]
ODI 164 Australia v New Zealand Sydney Cricket Ground, Sydney 2016 [144]
T20I 90 Australia v England Sophia Gardens, Cardiff 2015 [145]
FC 239 Australia v England WACA Ground, Perth 2017[143]
LA 164 Australia v New Zealand Sydney Cricket Ground, Sydney 2016 [144]
T20 101 Rising Pune Supergiants v Gujarat Lions MCA Stadium, Pune 2016 [146]


Test Awards[edit]

Player of the Series Awards[edit]

S No Series Season Series Performance Result
1 Border-Gavaskar Trophy 2016–15 Runs: 769 (1,135 balls: 83×4, 5x6), Ave – 128.17, SR – 67.75
Field: 17–0–86–0, 6 catches
 Australia won the series 2–0.[147]
2 Pakistan in Australia 2016–17 Runs: 441 (611 balls: 44×4, 2x6), Ave – 110.25, SR –
Field: 3–0–9–0, 9 catches
 Australia won the series 3–0.[148]
3 The Ashes 2017–18 Runs: 687 (1416 balls: 67×4, 1x6), Ave – 137.40, SR – 48.51  Australia won the series 4–0.[149]

Man of the Match Awards[edit]

S No Series Season Match performance Result
1 2013–14 Ashes Series 2013–14 1st Innings: 111 (208 balls: 14×4, 2x6); DNB
2nd Innings: 15 (50 balls); DNB, 1 catch
 Australia won by 150 runs.[150]
2 2014–15 Border-Gavaskar Trophy 2014–15 1st Innings: 1–0–4–0, 1 catch; 133 (191 balls: 13×4, 2x6)
2nd Innings: DNB; 28 (39 balls: 4×4)
 Australia won by 4 wickets.[151]
3 2014–15 Border-Gavaskar Trophy 2014–15 1st Innings: 117 (208 balls: 15×4); 4–0–17–0, 1 catch
2nd Innings: 71 (70 balls: 8×4, 1x6); 2–0–7–0, 1 catch
4 2015 Frank Worrell Trophy 2015 1st Innings: 199 (361 balls: 21×4, 2x6); DNB
2nd Innings: 54* (83 balls: 5×4, 1x6); DNB, 1 catch
 Australia won by 270 runs.[153]
5 2015 Ashes Series 2015 1st Innings: 215 (346 balls: 25×4, 1x6); 2–0–9–0
2nd Innings: 58 (48 balls: 9×4); DNB
 Australia won by 405 runs.[154]
6 2015 Ashes Series 2015 1st Innings: 143 (252 balls: 17×4, 2x6); DNB
2nd Innings: DNB; 1–0–7–1
 Australia won by an innings and 46 runs.[155]
7 Pakistan in Australia 2016–17 1st Innings: 165* (246 balls: 13×4, 1×6), 3–0–9–0
2nd Innings: DNB
 Australia won by an innings and 18 runs.[156]
8 2017–18 Ashes Series 2017–18 1st Innings: DNB, 141* (346 balls: 14×4)
2nd Innings: 4 catches, DNB
 Australia won by 10 wickets.[157]
9 2017–18 Ashes Series 2017-18 1st Innings: 1 catch 3-1-8-0, 239 (399 balls: 30×4, 1×6)
2nd Innings: 1 catch, DNB
 Australia won by an innings and 41 runs.[158]

ODI Awards[edit]

Player of the Series Awards[edit]

# Series Season Match performance Result
1 Australia v Pakistan in UAE 2014–15 Runs: 190 (238 balls: 11×4, 2x6), Ave – 63.33, SR – 79.83
Field: 2–0–7–0, 6 catches
 Australia won the series 3–0.[159]
2 South Africa in Australia 2014–15 Runs: 254 (261 balls: 23×4, 1x6), Ave – 84.67, SR – 97.32
Field: 8–1–44–1, 4 catches
 Australia won the series 4–1.[160]

ODI Man of the Match Awards[edit]

S No Opponent Venue Date Match performance Result
1  Pakistan Sharjah Cricket Stadium, Sharjah 7 October 2014 101 (118 balls: 6x4, 2x6); DNB  Australia won by 93 runs.[161]
2  South Africa Manuka Oval, Canberra 19 November 2014 73 (55 balls: 8x4); DNB  Australia won by 73 runs.[162]
3  South Africa MCG, Melbourne 21 November 2014 3–0–27–0, 2 catches; 104 (112 balls: 7x4)  Australia won by 3 wickets.[163]
4  England Bellerive Oval, Hobart 23 January 2015 DNB; 102* (95 balls: 6x4, 1x6)  Australia won by 3 wickets.[164]
5  India Sydney Cricket Ground, Sydney 26 March 2015 105 (93 balls: 11x4, 2x6); DNB, 1 run out  Australia won by 95 runs.[165]
6  India WACA Ground, Perth 12 January 2016 149 (135 balls: 11x4, 2x6); DNB  Australia won by 5 wickets.[144]
7  New Zealand Sydney Cricket Ground, Sydney 4 December 2016 164 (157 balls: 14x4, 4x6); DNB, 2 ct.  Australia won by 68 runs.[166]
8  Pakistan WACA Ground, Perth 19 January 2017 DNB; 108* (104 balls: 11x4, 1x6)  Australia won by 7 wickets.[167]

Twenty20 International Awards[edit]

Man of the Match Awards[edit]

# Series Season Opponent Match performance Result
1 2010 ICC World Twenty20 2010 West Indies 4–0–20–3, 1 catch; DNB  Australia won by 6 wickets.[168]



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External links[edit]

Preceded by
Mitchell Johnson
Sir Garfield Sobers Trophy
Succeeded by
Ravichandran Ashwin