Former Australian skipper Steven Smith was born on 2 June 1989. He has consistently attained top ranks as a batsman in Tests. His amazing batting average in Tests makes many critics believe he is the best batter since the legendary Don Bradman.
Australia, Australia A, Worcestershire, Rajasthan Royals, New South Wales, Australia Under-19, Australian XI, Kochi Tuskers Kerala, Pune Warriors India, Sydney Sixers, Antigua Hawksbills, Cumilla Warriors, Rising Pune Supergiant, Australians, Toronto Nationals, Welsh Fire
Batting Career Summary
Bowling Career Summary
Smith appears for Sydney Sixers in the BBL (Big Bash League) and New South Wales in domestic matches. In the IPL (Indian Premier League), he captains Rajasthan Royals.
Surprisingly, Smith first played for Australia as a leg spinner but honed his batting skills to become a top batter. In December 2017, his batting rating in Tests reached 947 following Bradman’s 961 in the history of Test cricket. However, Smith’s reputation got tarnished in March 2018 when he was suspected of ball tampering in a Test versus South Africa. For this infringement, Cricket Australia banned him from all domestic and international cricket for a period of 1 year starting from 29 March 2018.
Smith’s mother Gillian is of English origin, so he has both Australian and British citizenship and has played a lot of his early cricket in England.
Domestic and Youth Career
Smith played for Australia in the 2008 U-19 World Cup held in Malaysia. He grabbed 7 wickets and cracked 114 runs in 4 matches of the tournament. Smith played his debut match for New South Wales in January 2008 and scored 33 in the only innings he batted. He helped New South Wales win the 2009 T20 Champions League in 2009, scoring 33 and scalping 2 wickets in the final at Hyderabad versus Trinidad and Tobago.
Smith improved his bowling with the help of the accomplished Shane Warne. He had a high batting average of more than 50 in first-class cricket after the 2009 – 2010 Australian domestic season.
Smith took 9 scalps in the 2008 Big Bash tournament to emerge as the leading wicket-taker. He was named the tournament’s second-best cricketer. In 2011 – 2012, Smith was appointed captain of Sydney Sixers in the BBL, and led his team to triumph in the first season of the newly-founded tournament. In 9 games, he clobbered 166 runs at a scoring rate of 130.71, with 1 fifty. He also took 6 wickets and 9 catches.
Smith’s excellent BBL performance simply could not stay unnoticed and caught the attention of Sourav Ganguly who was the captain of Pune Warriors India in the 2012 IPL edition. Having joined the squad, Smith played for this team in 2013 as well.
Smith was initially selected by the IPL franchise Royal Challengers Bangalore in the 2010 edition. He missed the 2011 season due to an injury after having been chosen for Kochi Tuskers Kerala. In 2012, he helped Pune Warriors India win against Mumbai Indians by cracking 39 off 32 for which he was awarded the Player of the Match.
In 2014, Rajasthan Royals bought Smith for $600,000. He became captain of this franchise in 2015 and helped it reach playoffs. In 2016, he was bought by the Rising Pune Supergiants (RPS) franchise for the same price ($600,000). He cracked a memorable 101 in 54 balls versus Gujarat Lions that year. However, a wrist injury made him miss the rest of the tournament.
In 2017, the Supergiants appointed Smith skipper. He scored an unbeaten 84 in the first match versus Mumbai India to help his team win. Smith led RPS to the playoffs and was highly praised for his astute captaincy by such experts as Kevin Pietersen and Sunil Gavaskar. The team reached the final too but lost it by a single run to Mumbai. Smith was the top scorer for RPS with 472 runs at 39.33 average, including 3 fifties.
Smith missed the 2018 IPL edition as he was banned from international cricket for ball tampering. In the 2019 IPL edition, he replaced Ajinkya Rahane as the skipper of Rajasthan Royals. That year, he cracked 319 runs at 39.87 average with 3 fifties.
Smith played his first Test for Australia in July 2010 against Pakistan at Lords in a series hosted in England. It was his bowling skills that helped him get a spot in the Test squad and he grabbed 3/51 in the 2nd innings to help Australia score a 150-run victory. Smith showed excellent results in the next Test as well, knocking 77 with 2 sixes and 9 fours. In 2009 – 2010, Smith took some great outfield catches to attract attention. He next scored 2 fifties in 3 Tests in the 2010 – 2011 Ashes series.
Smith played 2 Tests in Australia’s 2013 Indian tour but could not prevent his side from losing the series. He was then selected for the 2013 Ashes series in England. He played all 5 games, cracking 345 at 38.33 average, but it alone was not enough to stop England from winning 3-0.
After that, Smith starred in the home Ashes series in the 2013 – 2014 season. He cracked a ton in the 3rd Test to win the Player of the Match award and help Australia win the game. In this series, Smith decided to change his batting style and move back and across to tackle short-pitched bowling. The strategy proved to be working and he has continued to follow it ever since.
Smith also clobbered a hundred in the last match played in Sydney and helped his team to achieve a 281-run victory. In the series, Australia whitewashed the Poms 5-0 and Smith scored 327 at 36 average with 2 hundreds.
Smith’s next away performance was during the South African tour in 2014. He scored a hundred in the first Test to help Australia win by 281 runs. In the deciding third and final Test, he recorded scores of 89 and unbeaten 36 to help his side win 2-1. Smith knocked 269 at 67.55 average in 3 games.
Next, in the series against Pakistan in Dubai, Smith cracked 22 and 55 in the first Test but could not prevent a 221-run loss. In the next game, he got 97 in the second knock, but Australia still lost by a 356-run margin. In 2 Tests, Smith clobbered 174 at an average of 43.5.
India toured Australia in 2014-15 before the ODI World Cup. In the first Test, Smith scored 162 and 53 to help Australia become triumphant with a 48-run advantage. Smith was appointed captain of Australia before the 2nd Test. In that game, he scored 133 and 28 to be awarded the Player of the Match and help his team score a 4-wicket win.
In the 3rd Test, Smith cracked 192 and reached 2,000 runs milestone in Tests. Smith clobbered a fourth consecutive Test hundred in the last match in Sydney. Australia recorded a 2-0 series win and regained the Border-Gavaskar Trophy. Smith scored 769 at 128.16 average, winning the Player of the Series award.
Australia won the ODI World Cup in 2015 after which they toured the Caribbean to play 2 Tests. Smith played a key role in the 2nd Test, smashing 199 in the first innings and helping the Aussies to score a 277-run victory and retain the Frank Worrell Trophy. After this game, Smith was ranked number one batsman in Tests.
The next series was the Ashes held in England. In the first Test, Smith scored 33 runs in both knocks but England won the match. He excelled in the second match with scores of 215 and 58 to help Australia win by a whopping 405 runs. Unfortunately, Smith failed in the third Test and England took a 2-1 lead. He didn’t succeed in the fourth Test either and England won the trophy with unassailable 3-1.
Smith roared back to form in the last Test, cracking 143 to help Australia score an innings victory. However, England won the series 3-2. Smith was the best run-scorer in that series with 508 runs in 5 games.
After Michael Clarke’s retirement at the end of the series, Smith was made skipper. In a 3-Test series at home played against the Kiwis, Smith recorded 48 and 1 in the first match. He clobbered 27 and 138 in the second game which ended in a draw. The last match was the first day-night Test in history ever held at Adelaide. Smith scored 53 and 14 to help Australia achieve a tight win.
After that, Smith appeared in a 3-Test series against West Indies. He scored 10 in the first Test followed by 134 not out and 70 not out in the second game to help Australia win the series. The final Test was washed out.
As of July 2020, Smith has played in 73 Tests, amassing 7,227 runs at an amazing average of 62.35 with 26 hundreds and 29 fifties. His highest test score is 239.
In total, Smith has appeared in 125 ODIs, striking 4,162 runs at an average of 42.46 and scoring rate of 86.67 with 9 hundreds and 25 fifties. His highest ODI score is 164.
Smith has starred in 39 T20Is, scoring 681 runs at an average of 29.60 and a strike rate of 130.71 with 4 fifties. His highest T20I score is 90.
Test Captaincy Record
Smith captained Australia in 34 Tests, recording 18 wins, 10 defeats and 6 draws.