Steven Smith played the Ashes three times in England. One of the best batsmen of the time surpassed everyone in individual skills in those three Ashes, but the regret of not being able to win the series remains. Don’t want to come back disappointed.
Smith has put his fourth (and most likely last) Ashes on England soil on his ‘bucket list’. A bucket list is a list that people want to complete before they die. Smith also wants to make up for this lack of Ashes in his cricketing career.
Smith had the chance to play for Gujarat after Kane Williamson was sidelined with an injury in the IPL. However, the right-handed batsman decided to play English county cricket to get the best possible preparation for the ICC World Test Championship final and the Ashes.
Signed up for Sussex this season. Smith faced the media for the first time yesterday after joining the team. It was there that he expressed his desire, “To be able to tick this (England Ashes win) off the bucket list would be huge.” We came so close last time. But could not cross the border.
There is no possibility of another Ashes in England before 2027. Smith will be 38 years old on that day. This is his last Ashes in the field of strong rivals, Smith has also given a glimpse, ‘This is my fourth visit to England. Maybe this is the end. I will be 34 in less than a month. I don’t think I will be here in the next series. I have to think about it.
Smith will play for Sussex only this month. Australia will then join the team in early June. Australia’s World Test Championship final against India will begin on June 7 at the London Oval. And the first match of the Ashes at Edgbaston in Birmingham is on June 16.
Australia will be expecting big things from Smith in their quest to win the Ashes in England after 22 years. Smith’s batting average in 14 Ashes matches played in England is also promising. Here he averages 65.08, which is higher than his Test batting average. He is also the highest run scorer in the last two Ashes in the country.
Michael Clarke was Australia’s captain in 2013 and 2015 Ashes. In 2019, Smith might have led the way. But he was banned for a year for ball-tampering in the previous year’s Cape Town Test, and was stripped of his captaincy. After the punishment, he returned to the national team with the 2019 Ashes. Scored 774 runs in 4 Tests (could not play one match due to head injury) to make comeback series. Pat Cummins’ leadership is now waiting for Smith to regret 22 years.
Anderson-Broad to artificial intelligence to find a way out of Smith in the Ashes
England’s two pacers, James Anderson and Stuart Broad, are looking for ways to stop Smith. He not only discussed this with the coach-analysts, but also approached artificial intelligence to stop Smith. Wanted to know how to get Smith out, got the answer. The Broad-Andersons were not only ‘thankful’ but also amused.
Sky Sports has produced a promotional video for the Ashes starting next month. Broad-Anderson can be seen in conversation with the Ashes AI bot in the video. Separately, both ask the bot how to get Smith out. Bot’s reply to Anderson was, ‘It will be challenging to get Smith out. However, some tips may come in handy. For example 1. Skillful fielding arrangements, 2. Keeping diversity in bowling, 3. Maintaining consistency, 4. Working on weaknesses, 5. Being mentally strong.’
Broad also asked about the way to get Smith out in the first Test. In response, the artificial intelligence bot writes, ‘Some techniques can be followed—1. Bowler-fielders can try to get him out. 2. Short balls can be used: Smith is weak with short balls, 3. Bowling a tight line-length, 4. Change the speed of the ball, 5. Know his weakness. Finally, Bott wrote to Broad, ‘It should be known that Steven Smith is an extraordinary batsman. So there is no guarantee to get him out even with these tactics. Broad laughed out loud after hearing the bot’s reply.