Former England captain Nasser Hussain has rated Australian batter Steve Smith as Australia’s second-best since Sir Donald Bradman to play 100 Tests as well. The veteran believes that the right-hander has proved time and again his ability to adapt to any condition as well.’
In his column for the Daily Mail, Hussain stated: “In considering where Steve Smith stands among Australian cricketers upon the occasion of his 100th Test cap, you would have to call him the second-best since Sir Donald Bradman. Only the late Shane Warne would be above someone with such a phenomenal statistical record. Whenever I judge how great a player someone is, I assess whether they can perform in all conditions around the world.”
However, Hussain opined on Smith’s centuries in the World Test Championship (WTC) final and the Lord’s Test as well, signalling that he doesn’t depend on conditions for runs.
“Just look at what he has done in England so far this summer. Playing in that World Test Championship final on a slightly spicy pitch, he got a hundred. Then, batting first at Lord’s last week, he struck another. These are performances that show he is no flat-track bully who only scores runs when everything is in his favour, but a batsman able to adapt to challenges posed around the world. Smith obviously had difficult times. None more so than the whole sandpaper scandal in Cape Town five years ago, and losing the Australian captaincy meant he paid the biggest price. Smith gets booed when he gets off the bus and when he goes out to bat, and has songs sung at him fielding on the boundary,” he further added.
However, Steve Smith was the captain when the in-famous ‘sandpaper gate’ took place in Cape Town against South Africa in March 2018. Despite staying out of the game for over a year, he smashed 144 in the first Ashes Test of 2019. However, he is doing good with the at now too.
“Personally, though, I think it is probably time to stand and applaud Smith for what he has done as a cricketer. He has performed how Australians would want their cricketers to: someone a bit quirky who loves contributing to the baggy green cause and Australian cricket in general. I guess the only question for Smith now is how long he continues. He is so obsessed by batting and when you are like that it takes a lot of energy. What I do know is that cricket is better off for having someone such as Smith in it. One of the greats of the game does things differently, and we should admire his failings, his quirkiness, his obsessions while he is still around,” he concluded.