Australian vice-captain and opener –David Warner lavished praise on his in-form skipper Steven Smith, who has been outstanding in the ongoing Ashes series with the bat, calling him 'freak'.
So far in the Ashes series 2017-18, the 28-year-old has amassed 491 runs at a stunning average of 163.66 in his five outings against the tourists England side.
And once again, Smith was well on the way to posting his fourth successive century in the showpiece Boxing Day Test at the Melbourne Cricket Ground but bowled out by Tom Curran at 76.
Noteworthy, the dashing right-hander Smith hasn’t been dismissed in a Melbourne Test match since Boxing Day 2014 and will definitely try to repeat the feat on a batsman-friendly MCG pitch in their second innings in the fourth Ashe Test against England.
In the last three showpiece Boxing Day Tests, Smith has scored 192 against India, 134 not out against West Indies and an unbeaten 165 last year against Pakistan.
According to a report in AFP, Warner told reporters, “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. 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.”
He further added, “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.”
Meanwhile, England’s all-time leading Test wicket-taker –James Anderson believes that Steve Smith is in the form of his life, adding, “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.”
He concluded by saying, “He’s the leading run-scorer 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.”