Sport Cricket The Ashes: ‘Master craftsman’ Steve Smith’s 22nd Test century

The Ashes: ‘Master craftsman’ Steve Smith’s 22nd Test century

steve smith
Commentary teams admired his 'Bradman' style back-lift and down swing on his way to another century. Photo: AAP
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Australian cricket captain Steve Smith has struck a century against England in the third Ashes Test.

Smith completed his 22nd Test ton early on Saturday’s third day of play at the WACA Ground.

The Australian skipper now has two centuries in this Ashes series and a batting average above 61.40 in Tests.

Smith’s sheer brilliance has been lauded by a host of former Test greats including Adam Gilchrist, who says the captain’s unorthodox technique should prompt coaching manuals to be torn up.

“It’s everything you don’t teach,” Gilchrist said of Smith’s style while commentating for BT Sport.

“But he has got Bradman-like numbers so why don’t we encourage it?

“There’s a lot of Sir Donald Bradman about the backlift and down swing.

“You are watching a master craftsman at work.

Ex-Australian captain Ricky Ponting said Smith “does things at a different level” to other batsmen.

“His basics just look slightly different than everyone else,” Ponting said on BT Sport.

“He plays the ball on its merit and it hits the middle of the bat.”

Former England batsman Kevin Pietersen, flanking Ponting in the commentary box, said Smith’s eagle eye was astonishing.

“The speed with which he picks up the ball from the bowler’s hand is something to be admired,” Pietersen said.

“The great players can pick gaps and he’s picking gaps … he does the basics right and he’s sticking to his way.”