Five batsmen who can dethrone Steve Smith from number one Test ranking
Regarded as the modern-day Don Bradman, Smith currently averages 63.75 in Tests.
Updated - Dec 2, 2019 6:31 pm
Not many would have expected Steve Smith to grow as a household name when he was selected nearly a decade ago as a leg-spinner who could bat a bit. Since the time he made his debut, Smith possessed the talent and the temperament to excel in the longest version of the game.
It was only three years after his debut in the year 2013 that Steve Smith began marking his territory in Test cricket with performing well in India and later in the Ashes in England. By the time he was named the captain of Australia five years after his debut, he was the number one Test batsman in the world.
Regarded as the modern-day Don Bradman, the 30-year old currently averages 63.75 – the highest among all the active Test cricketers today. His dream run suffered a massive blow in 2018 when Cricket Australia slapped him with a ban for a year along with being stripped of captaincy duties for getting involved in the tampering with the red cherry.
A year-long hiatus from the sport hardly changed things as the right-hander resumed routine business in the Ashes 2019 upon his return. Steven Smith almost single-handedly laid the foundation for the tourists to retain the Ashes in England. It took merely two innings for the Aussie to regain his number one Test ranking from Virat Kohli. Smith’s unorthodox batting stance, fast hands, and proficiency in moving his feet have made life challenging for all the bowlers.
Over the years around his team’s floundering batting performances, the right-hander has stood miles ahead of his peers and at times even better than the opposing batsmen.
We take a look at five batsmen who can dislodge Steve Smith from the number one Test ranking:
It was at the iconic Melbourne Cricket Ground in 2018 that the cricketing world saw Mayank Agarwal for the first time in Tests. India were in dire need of an opening batsman in their Test leg of Australia since the duo of Murali Vijay and KL Rahul were continuously failing to put runs on the board. Mayank’s imperious form in the domestic circuit was becoming hard to ignore, and the selectors decided to draft him in the playing eleven.
Facing up to the Australian bowling attack which he claimed to be bowling very quick, the 28-year old stood unshakable at the crease. Before falling to a short ball off Pat Cummins for a solid knock of 76, the right-hander had accomplished more than expected on his first outing down under. He mustered a fighting 42 in the second innings of the same game and a half-century in the last Test to end India’s opening woes.
In nine Tests thus far, Mayank Agarwal has racked up 872 runs at a stunning average of 67.07. In a brief career, the 28-year old has two double-hundreds, one hundred and two fifties to his name. Currently sitting at number 10, Mayank has a firm technique to thrive even in the upcoming overseas tours and may soon climb to the top of the rankings.