Teammates and rivals marvel at ‘freakish’ Smith
MELBOURNE, Dec 26, 2017 (BSS/AFP) – David Warner says in-form Steve Smith
is a freakish talent while England’s leading bowler James Anderson says the
Australia skipper is in the form of his life.
Smith was well on the way to posting his fourth consecutive century in the
showpiece Boxing Day Test at the Melbourne Cricket Ground after an unbeaten
65 in Australia’s 244 for three after day one Tuesday.
The quirky Smith hasn’t been dismissed in a Melbourne Test match since
Boxing Day 2014 and was on track to repeat the feat on a bat-friendly MCG
In the last three showpiece Boxing Day Tests, Smith has scored 192 against
India, 134 not out against the West Indies and an unbeaten 165 last year
So far in this series Smith has amassed 491 runs against England at a
stunning average of 163.66 from five innings.
“I think we all wish we were half the batter Steve Smith is at the moment
because he’s seeing them like watermelons, but he makes the game look so
easy,” said team vice-captain Warner, who scored his 21st Test century with
103 on Tuesday.
“He’s just a freak… I don’t know how he does what he does.
“He’s very mentally strong, we always talk about the way that he prepares.
He likes batting time in the nets then out in the game he just seems to be
hitting every ball out of the middle.
“England said that they had come up with a game plan to get him out and
obviously it hasn’t worked so far in this game.
“He’s got a unique technique that you wouldn’t coach any other kid.”
England’s all-time leading Test wicket-taker Anderson, who has had a
running battle with Smith during the Ashes series, said it was up to the
bowlers to figure a way to get him out.
“I won’t say I’m sick of the sight of him, I would like to get him out but
every now and then you come up against a player who’s in the form of his
life,” Anderson said.
“He’s the leading runscorer in Test cricket this year and obviously he’s
in a hot streak.
“As a bowler it can be tough coming up against someone like that, but it’s
our job to try and figure on ways of getting him out.
“When someone’s in that kind of form you just got to hope that he makes a
mistake or just hope you bowl a ball that’s good enough to get rid of him.”