India cricketing legend Sachin Tendulkar has given his verdict on Steve Smith.
This comes after the former captain sparkled during the Ashes series in England, helping his side retain the urn in a 2-2 draw.
Speaking on Twitter, Tendulkar lauded Smith for his superb batting, stating that the former Australia skipper’s “organised mindset” and “complicated technique” makes him peerless in the modern game.
The former Indian batsman claimed that the Australian is the number one Test batsman in the world today based on his return to red ball cricket in the Ashes.
Smith was returning from a 12-month ban for the part he played in the infamous ball-tampering scandal in a tour of South Africa. He was replaced by wicket-keeper Tim Paine as captain of Australia.
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Smith returned to the crease with an average of over 110 with the bat and top scored in the Ashes with 774 runs.
In a video posted to his Twitter account, Tendulkar explained that Smith has a unique batting style. His play is highly unorthodox, but in turn, proves his genius, according to the India great.
“In the first Test, the English bowlers tried to get him caught behind the wickets with slips and gully in place,” Tendulkar explained.
“And Smith just shuffled across and exposed his leg stumps to cover the line, and was selective and smart in his approach.
“At Lord’s, they had leg-slip for him on occasions and a few short-pitched deliveries against Jofra Archer got him in trouble as he tried to cover the line with the weight on his back-foot.”
Smith was struck by a vicious Jofra Archer bouncer in the first innings at Lord’s in the second Ashes Test. He wouldn’t return in the second innings, nor was he cleared for the third Ashes Test at Headingley, which Australia lost.
Tendulkar critiqued Smith’s batting, explaining what he did wrong when he was effectively eliminated by the bouncer.
“The most important thing for any batsman is to keep the head position forward and wait leaning forward or marginally in-line,” said Tendulkar, the highest Test scoring batsman of all-time.
“Smith got into bad positions and that’s how he probably got hit. In the final two Tests, he was leaving the ball while leaning forward, and looked in better positions. He worked on his technique very smartly. That is why I say, ‘complicated technique, but extremely organised mindset’.”
Smith’s Test batting average stands at 64.56 after the Ashes series. Tendulkar retired with an average of 53.78.