Steve Smith is one of the best Test batsmen in the world right now. ICC honoured him with the Test Cricketer of the Decade award recently. It is interesting to note that Smith started off as a leg-spinner. However, he then worked on his batting technique. Currently, it is a very challenging task to get him out, especially in Tests.
Even experienced bowlers struggle against Steve Smith. However, sometimes, the former Australian captain has faced difficulty while tackling the debutantes. So far, five players have claimed Smith as their maiden Test wicket. The list includes three spinners and two fast bowlers. Here are those five cricketers with Steve Smith as their first Test wicket.
5. Washington Sundar
Washington Sundar is the latest name to join this list. The Indian off-spinner made his Test debut against Australia in Brisbane. Sundar travelled with the squad as a net bowler. However, multiple injuries in the Indian camp prompted the team management to include Sundar in the playing XI. The Tamil Nadu-based all-rounder had achieved much success in white-ball cricket.
He began his Test career with three maiden overs. The Aussie batsmen were under pressure, facing him at The Gabba. Steve Smith then decided to attack Sundar. However, Washington used his smartness and fired a delivery to his pads. Smith flicked the ball straight to Rohit Sharma at short mid-wicket to give Sundar his first Test wicket.
4. Craig Overton
Craig Overton is a right-arm pacer from England. He played four Tests for his country and picked up nine wickets. Overton received his maiden Test cap in Ashes 2017 at Adelaide Oval. The Englishman opened his account in Test cricket with Steve Smith’s wicket. Smith was in a prime form then.
Even in that inning, Steve looked set for a big score. Smith was captaining Australia in that Ashes series. He came out to bat at number five after David Warner’s dismissal. Smith aggregated 40 runs from 90 balls and struck three fours. However, his inning ended when Overton dismantled his stumps.
3. Tom Curran
Tom Curran is the brother of English all-rounder Sam Curran. Tom belongs to a family of cricketers as his father Kevin Curran played for Zimbabwe. Tom and Sam have played for England. Sam has been more successful than Tom. However, Tom can boast of dismissing Steve Smith for his first Test wicket.
Tom played two Tests during the 2017-18 Ashes series. He made his Test debut in the Boxing Day Test at MCG. To make the occasion more memorable, Tom got the better of the opposition skipper in the first innings. Tom beat Smith and disturbed his stumps when the Aussie captain was on 76. Ultimately, that match ended in a draw.
2. Keshav Maharaj
Spin-bowling all-rounder Keshav Maharaj has achieved more success in the longer formats. Maharaj has played 32 Tests for South Africa. In those 52 games, he has bowled 1,138 overs for his nation. Maharaj made his Test debut against Australia at the WACA Ground in 2016. The spin bowler played a vital role in South Africa’s win as he took three wickets.
Maharaj was the only spinner used by South Africa in the first innings. Australia got off to a solid start thanks to David Warner and Shaun Marsh’s fifties. However, the visitors then derailed their knock. Maharaj got Smith out LBW on 0, and then he dismissed Peter Nevill and Mitchell Starc. His 3-wicket haul turned the game in South Africa’s favour.
1. Yasir Shah
The first bowler to open his account in Test cricket with Steve Smith’s wicket was Yasir Shah. The Pakistani leg-spinner made his debut versus Australia in Dubai. Yasir used the spin-friendly conditions well and dismissed Steve Smith. Pakistan had posted a massive total of 454 runs on the board. In reply, David Warner’s hundred gave the Aussies the upper hand.
Yasir Shah then turned the game with a three-wicket haul. He ended the first innings as the most successful Pakistani bowler. Shah opened his account with Steve Smith’s wicket. Smith handed a catch to Mohammed Hafeez at the individual score of 22. Later, Yasir dismissed Steve O’Keefe and Warner.