The former Pakistan fast bowler Shoaib Akhtar reckons one of the ways to stop Steve Smith from scoring runs is to try and “hurt” him with pace.
According to Akhtar, if he had the opportunity to bowl to Smith when he was an active cricketer, he would have bowled as he quick as he could and would have tried and hit Smith on the body.
“Steve Smith has no technique or style but he has bravery. If he was playing in my time, I would have definitely tried to hit him and 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.” Akhtar was quoted saying by Saj Sadiq, a Pakistani cricket journo.
Smith has been scoring truckload of runs in all formats of the game since his comeback.
Steve Smith was a fluent run scorer before he got banned for ball tampering, but, there were question marks if he would be able to show the same fluency when he returns from the ban.
The ban was of 12 months and Smith wasn’t allowed to play anything other than league cricket in that period. The elbow injury in the meantime didn’t help him either.
Nobody expected Smith to come back and score runs straightaway. But Smith, the way he has returned, it is not looking like he was never banned at any stage. It seems as if he has been playing cricket right through.
The consistency, the fluency and the audacity in his batting is the same as it was before the ban.
The New South Wales right-hander scored 80 odd for Australia in the semi-final of the World Cup before piling on a total of 774 runs in the Ashes. Smith’s efforts saw Australia retain the Ashes with a 2-2 score line.
The former captain has carried his form into the Australian summer as well. He has already scored two half centuries in the 5 T20I games he has played this summer, the most recent of which was against Pakistan where he scored 80 off just 51 balls to guide Australia to the target of 151.