‘The bat is mightier than sandpaper’

Hindustan Times

Hindustan Times

Author 2019-09-16 00:07:06

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It was just over a year ago when Steve Smith was handed a one-year ban for his role in the ball tampering scandal in a Test against South Africa. The Australia batsman returned to Test cricket for the first time since then in the ongoing Ashes Test series in England, knowing fully well that the England crowd will give him a hard time from the stands over the controversy. He was booed and jeered all throughout the World Cup earlier this year, after all.

Smith, though, kept his head down and went on to smash records with the bat. The 30-year-old smashed 774 runs in seven innings, at an average of 110.57 in the series, with three tons and three fifties. He also surpassed Virat Kohli to cement top position in ICC Test batting rankings.

On the 4th day of the final Test in Oval, Smith’s brilliant performance prompted a standing ovation from the England crowd. The batsman was caught by Ben Stokes off Stuart Broad for 23, during Australia’s 399-run chase. As he made his walk back to the pavilion, the crowd stood up to give a roaring applause.

Noted English broadcaster, in a tweet, wrote: “BREAKING: Steve Smith is mortal. He was mercilessly booed when he came to England this summer. He departs to a standing ovation. What a player & what an extraordinary rehabilitation.. The bat, it transpires, is mightier than the sandpaper.”

At the tea interval Australia, who have already retained the Ashes, were 167-5, with the final session of the fourth day to come plus a full day on Monday. Matthew Wade was not out 60 and captain Tim Paine unbeaten on 10.

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