The form that Steve Smith showed in 2019 was out of this world.
The first comeback
Smith was making a return to test cricket after a 2-year gap and was on fire in the five match Ashes series in England in 2019.
From four matches, Smith scored as many as 774 runs from seven innings at an average of 110 and a strike rate of 65.72.
Obviously, an average of 110.57 would only come down. But, Smith was a shadow of himself in 2020 when he managed an average of just 18.25 with just one half century in the entire year.
In 2021 as well, although he put in some fine performances, he wasn’t able to school bowling attacks as we have become so used to over the years.
Return to captaincy goes to plan
It was a momentous occasion for Steve Smith when he captained the second Ashes test match in 2021 in the absence of permanent skipper Pat Cummins. This is what Smith had to say after the match.
“I wasn’t nervous. I think Jos Buttler played very well, and played over 200 balls, so it was good resistance along with Woakes and Robinson. We wanted to stay calm because it would take a couple of good balls and a couple of wickets to get the win. I did enjoy captaincy and the guys played well and controlled the game after the first day. Davey Warner and Marnus’ partnership set it up, so we could control the game. A special mention to Starc, who has bowled as well as he’s bowled in a long time, and he’s led the attack really well.”
“The guys in there said Cam Green shouldn’t bowl at all today, because his workload needs to be managed. Ideally he shouldn’t have bowled today, but we needed him to bowl because of how good he has been. Harris is batting well in the nets, so he needs to not overthink it and trust the process and he can turn it around. The COVID protocols are level 4 or 3 right now, and thankfully we’ve been able to entertain people with cricket in this difficult period. We’ll go about our business as well as we can.”
A good barometer to judge Smith’s drop in form is that Marnus Labuschagne is now considered the most formidable Australian batter. That though might be set to change.