Steve Smith reminisces his transformation ahead of the 100th ODI match
Smith has registered 3188 runs at an average 43 in his first 99 games.
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Australian skipper Steve Smith, who started out as a leg-break bowler reflects on his past as the flamboyant batsman gears up to play his landmark 100th ODI in Kolkata tomorrow. From a regular bowler to scoring a hundred in a high-pressure World Cup semi-final, Smith’s incredible transformation has gifted the sport one of its finest players. However, the 28-year-old batsman is still modest and says his evolution as a 50-over cricketer is still far from complete. Smith will become the 27th Australian to play 100 ODIs in the upcoming second match of the series against India.
With a repertoire of umpteen skills and the ethos of a free-flowing game, Smith has registered 3188 runs at an average 43 in his first 99 games. He already stands alongside some of Australia’s greatest ODI batsmen. Even if Smith fails to score in his 100th ODI, his present average of 43.67 will ensure him a third place behind Dean Jones (48.82) and Michael Bevan (61.96) among Australian batsmen with the best average after 100 matches.
Clarke believe Smith’s captaincy is being challenged
Speaking about his evolution and the emotions ahead of the milestone match, Smith said, “I think I have evolved a lot as a white ball player. When I first started playing one-day cricket, my first 30-odd games, I played more as a bowler. I had to change a bit there. I’ve been batting at No 3 now for a while now.”
“It’s not about personal glory its about the team doing well. I think it’s all about the team success. I will happily take a duck tomorrow if we can win the game,” the right-hander made it pretty clear that for him team’s victory stands above any personal milestone.
However, despite his heroics and incredible statistics, Smith had to defend his captaincy from the criticism of his predecessor, Michael Clarke. The former skipper feels that the 28-year-old had erred in the opening match in Chennai by not bringing his strike bowlers back on when the home side was 87/8, which cost the Aussies the match.
While Clarke believes that Smith’s captaincy is now being challenged, the right-hander will be aiming to be on top of his form ahead of the next encounter, to try and prove the critics wrong.