In the first Ashes Test at Gabba, Australia skipper Steve Smith played a match-defining knock of 141* which helped the hosts registered a comprehensive 10-wicket victory over England. And now in the ongoing third Ashes Test at Perth, Smith has gone a level ahead as the 28-year-old recorded his second Test double ton.
The Australian captain played a scintillating knock of 239 at WACA thereby recorded his 22nd Test ton in just 108 innings – third fastest to reach the feat after Sir Donald Bradman (58) and Sunil Gavaskar (101). Seeing Smith’s batting prowess in Test cricket over a period of time, legendary Australian batsman Ricky Ponting has said that the current Aussie skipper is better than some of the best players in the game at the moment.
“You look at the other better players in the world; India’s Virat Kohli is on a pretty high pedestal but then you look at Joe Root and Kane Williamson, as far as I’m concerned those guys don’t match up to Steven Smith and I’ve said that for a long time,” Ponting told cricket.com.au.
“I even had England players come to me this morning saying ‘Just give us something on Smith. What are we going to bowl to Smith?’ And I said, ‘Look, one, I’m not going to tell you. And two, I don’t know anyway because it seems like he’s got every base covered’,” he added.
The two times World Cup winning Australian captain also went on to say that if Smith was playing in the era of Timeless Tests, he would have batted forever.
“You look at his wagon wheel, he’s got boundaries almost all around the ground and there’s no obvious weakness and with his appetite for runs that he’s got he’ll just keep batting forever. Imagine him back in the day when there were Timeless Tests he would’ve just batted forever!” remarked Ponting.
Punter also praised the Australian selectors and Mitchell Marsh saying that the all-rounder has improved by many folds as a cricketer.
“There has been a lot of ‘noise’ about Mitchell Marsh and his selection back in the team again. Have the selectors made the wrong or the right call? I think it’s been proven again they’ve made the right call… There wouldn’t be a person in Australia that’s not happy seeing Mitchell Marsh doing what he’s doing at the moment,” Ponting opined.
“Some of the striking and how clean and pure the striking has been today, this could be the start of a really long and successful international career now. It seems like he’s unlocked something within himself and he can go and play with a bit of freedom and he now knows he’s got the game to succeed at Test level, which is really important,” he concluded.