Don’t Be Impatient

Feb 2014 was the last time an Australian #6 scored a century for Australia in test cricket.

Centurion Park, Steve Smith walked to the wicket at 4/98 – a not unfamiliar position.

On the second day in the 102nd over, Smith worked a ball into a gap behind square for the single to reach the milestone.

Steve Smith 100 centurion

How life can quickly transform for a player who made his test debut as a leg spin bowler (developing), lower order bat (useful).

Still youthful, now just 27 years old. Only 54 tests, batted in 100 innings. 5251 runs @ 61 with an equal number of centuries and 50’s – 20 of each. Probability of 40% that when Smith walks out to bat he passes 50.

As a benchmark for this remarkable consistency, Ricky Ponting had a probability of 36% with 41 centuries and 62 scores of 50+ from 287 innings.

The extrapolated future suggests Smith may shift this high watermark well beyond 15,000 runs and contain around 115 test match innings with a score of 50+.

“He’s been brilliant. He’s been unbelievable. He’s been Bradman-like with the bat but all the stuff behind the scenes has been exceptional,” Lehmann said of Smith.

Even moreso incredible as Smith has been completely true to himself in technique, style and temperament. There is very little from the traditional coaching manual that reflects his methods, apart from the final moment as the blade meets the ball and sends it with power and purpose towards the identified end point.

The Indian tour even seemed to add another layer to his powers. The ability to adapt. Not just tactically, yet also very apparent in his mind, extending his resilience to the task at hand.

Back though to the opening line time stamp of February 2014.

For such a long period, so many options tried being unable to deliver a score of substance. For many years, this was one of expectation when the #6 position was occupied by players such Symonds, Hussey and North.

Ranchi did not faze the approach of Glenn Maxwell as he arrived to pair with the captain at 4-140. Recalled for his 4th test match, now at 28 years of age, the delightful symmetry in it being just over 4 years since his debut. A partnership of 191, a century of patience and careful selection. The anti-christ of an innings given what many an expert or those in the opinion choir deemed, or wanted, him to be capable of.

Both men begin the IPL season as new captains of their respective franchises. An honor not bestowed lightly. The foreign views of those in control abroad can be learned from.

Don’t be impatient. The glimmer of hope for the test cricket future has arrived.


Glenn Maxwell.jpg


About Andrew Walton

Cricket exposure as a player, coach, fan, observer, analyst & tragic! Coached at Melbourne Cricket Club, Prahran Cricket Club. Premiership player and coach at South Yarra Cricket Club ~ Home of The Vincibles! Academy coach at Karnataka Institute of Cricket, Bangalore.
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