SYDNEY: Steve Smith’s importance to Australia in the Ashes series has not just been in the torrent of runs he has scored but also in timing of his big innings, according to his team mate Pat Cummins.
The Australia skipper once again proved immovable at the crease as he passed 6,000 test runs in his 111th innings on the second day of the fifth test at the Sydney Cricket Ground on Friday.
His 44 not out helped Australia to 193 for two at close, 153 runs behind England’s first innings score, and brought his own tally over the five tests to 648 runs at a provisional average of 162.
An unbeaten century in Brisbane and 239 in Perth helped ensure the return of the Ashes.
“We’re stoked he’s on our team so we don’t have to bowl at him. He just goes out there and looks from ball one that he’s been batting for three hours already,” Cummins told reporters.“No obvious weakness, no obvious time that it takes him to build into his innings. From ball one he knows his game so well.
“Those big innings he has played as well, they have been really important.In Brisbane and Perth they were match-winning and in Melbourne it was match-saving.“It’s just incredible and I think he’s been the difference between the two sides.”
Smith’s extraordinary form has solidified his position as the world’s top-ranked batsman and only Donald Bradman reached the 6,000-run milestone in fewer innings — West Indies great Garfield Sobers taking the same number.