November 21, 2014
Australia won the fourth ODI against South Africa at the MCG, and in the process take a 3-1 lead in the series. The result was largely thanks to Steve Smith, who is quickly becoming Australia’s golden boy!
His sizzling knock of 104 was remarkable, especially when at one point it looked like the home side had no chance of achieving victory.
Smith stepped up to the plate and showed just how far he had come from his scratchy debut back in 2010.
He has become a perfect advocate for the saying ‘hard work pays off’.
In the early part of his career, many members of the cricketing world were strongly questioning his methods and writing off his chances of succeeding on the world stage.
Smith has taken all criticism that has come his way on the chin and worked his socks off to get himself prepared to compete with the best in the game and has proven to some purists that you can succeed by holding the bat in a slightly different way!
If he can keep this run of form going into the World Cup people will start taking him a lot more seriously, but I suspect they already are!
Due to his unorthodox nature he is very difficult to set fields to and leaves opposing captains with much head scratching. Smith mixes his game between chipping the ball into gaps while running hard, but also has the power to clear the ropes against all types of bowling.
His ability to manoeuvre himself around crease and play incredible shots while preserving his wicket at the same time is something bowlers can only lose sleep over. Also his calmness in dire situations is something that can not be taught in the nets. It’s the type of thing you learn through experience and Cricket Australia will be glad they stuck to their guns on this one.
Credit must go to Smith but also to the Australian selectors that are now reaping the rewards of the faith they showed.