The Ashes: Decoding the incredible numbers of Steven Smith
Australia's Steven Smith made a stunning comeback from his ball-tampering ban in 2019. He marked his comeback by smashing twin centuries in the first Test of the Ashes. The 32-year-old finished as the leading run-scorer of that edition. Smith, who was recently appointed Australia's Test vice-captain, would want to continue his exploits in the upcoming Ashes series. Here, we decode his Ashes numbers.
- Smith is regarded as the most prolific Test batter of the modern age.
- He has the second-best average in Test cricket among the players with over 20 Tests (61.80). He is only behind the great Sir Donald Bradman (99.94).
- Over the years, Smith has dominated England's bowling attack in the Ashes.
- He has broken a plethora of records with the bat.
Smith has the fourth-most runs among Australians and the seventh-most overall in the Ashes. He has racked up 2,800 runs from 27 matches at an astonishing average of 65.11. Smith is one of the four players to have slammed 10 or more centuries in the Ashes. He has 11 tons and nine half-centuries. Smith has a best Ashes score of 239.
Smith smashed a record 774 runs at an astronomical average of 110.57 in the 2019 Ashes edition. He registered the fifth-most runs in a single Ashes series. His tally of runs was the highest (Ashes) since Mark Taylor in 1989 (839 runs). Smith hammered three tons, as many half-centuries, and a double-hundred across four matches. His highest score of 211 came in Manchester.
So far, Smith remains the only batter to have scored 500 runs across three Ashes editions. He aggregated 687 runs from five matches at a staggering average of 137.40 in the 2017 Ashes. He slammed three tons and a double-century. Smith was also the leading run-scorer in the 2015 edition. He scored 508 runs in five matches at 56.44.
Smith holds the record of smashing 10 consecutive 50+ scores in the Ashes. His incredible run started from the Perth Test in December 2017 and ended at The Oval in September 2019. Smith's scores during this period read as - 239, 76, 102*, 83, 144, 142, 92, 211, 82, and 80. He remains the only player to have achieved this feat in the Ashes.
In 2019, Smith became the fifth Australian batter to smash score centuries in both innings of an Ashes Test (144, 142 in Birmingham). Matthew Hayden was the last batter to have reached this landmark (in 2002). As per ESPNcricinfo, Smith became only the third visiting batter to score two centuries in the first Test of a series in England.