Steve Smith Still Has Work To Do On His Fourth Innings Record In Test Cricket!
Steve Smith has one big problem staring at him in the eye and it puts his peers perhaps ahead of the curve in Tests.
Just as important as the opening day of a Test match is the game’s last day. And in similar fashion, the second innings of a five dayer is perhaps just as important as its first. The reason why Test cricket is considered the epochal of all Cricketing contests is because you cannot tend to differentiate between which of its session across the five days is significant or which isn’t.
You have to be at the top of your game, truth be told. Being half as good as what you can effectively be or nearly good doesn’t work. It hasn’t. It won’t.
Maybe that is why where it comes to Cricket’s purest format, it is often said that half begun is half done, not exactly well done.
And it is here in one of the game’s most vital fragments that a certain Steven Smith is yet to embrace excellence, something that is otherwise attached to his Cricket.
While we know Steven Smith for being the hitter of exemplary, impactful and game-changing hundreds, having struck aplenty purely for fun or for the delight of batting, he hasn’t really been among the runs where his second innings batting in a Test match is concerned.
Is this concerning? Is this a bit of blithe for a batsman who otherwise holds a tremendous record in Test cricket, wherein he is approaching 9,000 Test runs?
As a matter of fact, Steve Smith’s fourth inning record in a Test match is rather dubious given the high standards he has set for himself.
Thus far, and remember, he has been batting on and on for nearly thirteen years in the sport, Steve Smith has managed just 590 runs from 23 Test innings.
A point to note that this is the way his record stood right before the first of the Ashes Tests that just got concluded at Edgbaston.
But if you thought that this is the only low point where the discussion of his fourth innings batting record is concerned, then think more for quite simply, there’s more to the tale.
Steve Smith and a sorry looking fourth innings record
But how so?
Steve Smith’s fourth innings batting average in Test match cricket is not even 30, which is perhaps a matter of concern for a bloke regarded as a Test match specialist, though one who even excels in one day cricket.
For a batsman who has been compared to the great Sir Don for the sheer wealth of runs he has scored against prominent opponents, one of which is India, of course, Steve Smith ought to correct a massive woe in his Test CV.
The recent Test at Edgbaston actually served a case in point where the man who most remarkably scored a gritty century versus India in the World Test Championship final did not reach a double digit score in the game’s fourth inning.
That Australia had the services of Usman Khawaja, undoubtedly their man of the hour in the first inning, was perhaps the most defiant step in front of an attacking ‘Bazball’-fueled English attack.
Unfortunately, Smith, who lasted for 72 deliveries on the whole in the contest, missed out. However, that does not mean that the man who still has two years, at the very least in him, can not or will not improve.
It’s Steve Smith, after all; the doer of things, the attacker of attacks, the smasher of bowlers and the accruer of Bradmanesque numbers.
What could be better, one’s ought to note, than to begin by hammering some runs in the fourth innings in any of the forthcoming Ashes encounter should the chance arrive?