In arguably career-best touch with the bat in white ball cricket, is Steve Smith set to go big in this Saturday’s BBL final at the SCG?
We’re used to seeing Steve Smith dominate with the bat in Test cricket. But it’s in the shorter formats he has been making a splash of late. His two innings in the recent ODI series against India yielded 98 and 131, surpassing all others despite batting just twice in the three-game series. It even led the great Ricky Ponting to make this assertion about who he saw as the most ‘complete’ batsman in the world today:
Hard to separate Virat Kohli and Steve Smith https://t.co/JrXLBdTkhc
— Ricky Ponting AO (@RickyPonting) January 27, 2020
Purple patch ahead of the BBL final
But it’s in the 20-over format he has made recent waves. In his last 10 T20 innings, Smith has incredibly posted a half century in five of them. It’s an incredible run of form that spans across the final part of the 2019 IPL season for Rajasthan Royals, the first part of this international summer against Sri Lanka and Pakistan, and recent BBL games for the Sydney Sixers. So will it continue on Saturday night?
Marcus Stoinis is bowling his first over of #BBL09, and Steve Smith's taken the liberty to hit him for six!
— Fox Cricket (@FoxCricket) January 31, 2020
Happy hunting ground
While Smith has never played a T20 international innings at the SCG, his ODI form at the ground is outstanding. In 11 innings at the venue he has peeled off 626 runs at a more-than-healthy average of 56.9. This includes two hundreds against India and New Zealand, and half centuries against South Africa and Sri Lanka. So can he excel at his home venue again? “It’s been good to be back (in the BBL) and I’m really excited to hopefully see a big crowd out here on Saturday,” he told reporters on Thursday.
— Sydney Sixers (@SixersBBL) February 6, 2020