Ashes 2023: Former Australian skipper Ricky Ponting has lavished praise on Steve Smith ahead of his landmark 100th Test appearance. The milestone will be achieved when Australia squares off against England in the third Ashes Test on July 6 at Headingley, Leeds. Notably, Smith will become just the 15th Australian cricketer to reach the significant 100-Test mark.
In a recent interaction with ex-England captain Nasser Hussain for Daily Mail, Ponting revealed his admiration for Smith’s skills. Responding to Hussain’s question on Smith’s upcoming milestone and his standing among Australian greats, Ponting didn’t hold back.
“If it all ends tomorrow,” Ponting stated, “He would be the second-greatest batsman Australia has produced after Don Bradman.” The statement underscores Smith’s brilliance in red-ball cricket and his crucial role in Australia’s ongoing Ashes campaign.
Australia is currently leading the five-Test series 2-0, largely due to Smith’s commanding performance. In the last Test at Lord’s, Smith made history, becoming the second-fastest batter to score 9000 Test runs. He also hit his 32nd century, underlining his importance in the Australian batting line-up.
Smith’s impressive 110-run innings in the second Test made him the Player of the Match, aiding Australia’s 43-run victory. Heading into his 100th Test, Smith aims to continue his red-hot form. He has expressed a desire to produce something special, with an aim to fulfill his dream to “win an Ashes series in England.”
Ashes 2023: Ricky Ponting Has Made A Big Statement On Steve Smith
“It is something that has been on my bucket list,” Smith told Hindustan Times, showcasing his unwavering dedication to the sport.
Since his debut in 2010, Smith’s career has experienced a roller coaster of highs and lows. Originally starting as a leg-spinner, he transformed into one of Australia’s top batters. This journey was punctuated by controversy in 2018 when Smith was stripped of his captaincy following the infamous ball-tampering scandal.
However, after serving a 12-month ban, Smith made a triumphant return to the squad. He proved his resilience and talent in the 2019 Ashes series, scoring an impressive 774 runs.
In conclusion, Steve Smith’s career, marked by both brilliance and resilience, is a testament to his incredible talent. As he prepares for his 100th Test, he carries the accolades of one of Australia’s finest, Ricky Ponting, who sees him as second only to the legendary Don Bradman. Undoubtedly, the cricketing world eagerly awaits Smith’s milestone performance.
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