Why Steven Smith is Awesome in the IPL
By Stuart Garlick
Steven Smith showed in the opening match of the 2017 Indian Premier League, batting for Rising Pune Supergiants, how he is one of the best batsmen in the world, and how he is capable of destroying any IPL bowling attack on his best days. Here are five clips that help show why the Australian captain is one of the most feared men on the Subcontinent.
1. In the Beginning, There Was Spin
Smith began as a leg-spinner, rated as one of the possible successors to Shane Warne, so he understands spin, one of the key weapons in India during the IPL. In this 2009 video, Smith explains why he loved cricket, and what motivated him at the start of his career.
2. Fast Totals
This superb display of controlled aggression in 2014's edition of the IPL established Smith as one of the world's premier T20 batsmen, and meant that no team with serious designs on success could fail to plan thewir tactics around his destructive abilities.
3. He's Great on All Surfaces
Australia might not have won the Ashes in 2015, but it was a fine display in the Second Test at Lord's by Smith, the captain, that put 215 runs on the board and gave Aussie Fanatics renewed hope that something good might be about to happen. The world's best batsmen are good on all surfaces, both the moist English wickets and dry Australian summer ones - Smith is, and he knows all about the patience required to win Tests, which is a quality he brings to other forms of the game.
4. He's a Legend in the Field
It helps when you can catch like this. Smith is constantly alert, looking for minor details in opposing batsmen's actions that can allow him to capitalise on stray shots in this way. When you have Smith in the field, it's like having two players.
5. He's a Record-Breaker
In cricket, numbers matter more than in perhaps any other sport - it's full of statistics for every aspect of the game. Smith inspires confidence from team-mates partly thanks to his presence in the record books, such as here, for the highest One-Day International batting total at the Sydney Cricket Ground.