Australian captain Steve Smith is going through a rich vein of form as a batsman and broke yet another record on the opening day of the 3rd Test against India in Ranchi today. The prolific run scorer especially in the longest format of the game, Smith became the 3rd fastest batsman in the world to reach 5000 Test runs. Only Sir Donald Bradman and Sunil Gavaskar reached the milestone earlier than Smith.
In the process Smith went past the likes of former great Gary Sobers and Jack Hobbs, notching up the milestone in just his 57th Test. He reached the elusive three-figure mark in the final delivery of the 58th over of Ravindra Jadeja. It was a fuller length delivery outside off and Smith drove it towards the cover region for a single to complete the milestone. Currently the No.1 batsman in the ICC Test Rankings for batsmen, Smith also became the youngest Australian to reach the 5,000 mark. He also averages 2nd highest at the 5000 runs mark.
Smith has been in exceptional form with the bat in hand and has been scoring heaps of runs especially in the longest format. His consistency has helped Australia come back to winning ways in the longest format. Smith was also instrumental in handing Australia their first Test victory on Indian soil in 13 years. His magnificent century in the 2nd innings of the opening Test in Pune helped Australia create history and thump hosts India by a big margin of 333 runs.
Though he got 4 reprieves, it was a classy innings, which enabled the visitors to set a mammoth 4th innings total to the Indians. Despite his stupendous form, the Aussie captain hogged the limelight for all the wrong reasons in the 2nd Test at the Chinnaswamy Stadium in Bengaluru. The captain looked at the dressing room for confirmation of whether to go for the review or not when he was dismissed by Umesh Yadav. It didn’t go down well with the Indian camp and Kohli lashed out at him during the post-match press conference.
Smith is also looking in good touch in the ongoing 3rd Test at Ranchi and has just completed his 19th Test of his career. He is looking in ominous touch which might be worrying signs for Kohli and his men. Meanwhile, Kohli is out of the field after injuring his right shoulder in the 2nd session and Ajinkya Rahane is calling the shots in his absence.
FASTEST TO 5000 TEST RUNS
Sir Don Bradman in 36 Tests
Sunil Gavaskar in 52 Tests
Steve Smith in 53 Tests
Sir Jack Hobbs in 55 Tests
Sir Gary Sobers in 56 Tests
Highest averages at the 5000-run mark
Sir Don Bradman — 5077 runs at 100.00
Steve Smith — 5004 runs at 60.28
Wally Hammond — 5176 runs at 60.24
Sir Garfield Sobers — 5091 runs at 60.24
Sir Jack Hobbs — 5047 runs at 60.24