Ricky Ponting defends Smith Smith after latter had a pretty ordinary outing with the bat during the whole of Ashes 2021-22.
Winning the 2021 T20 World Cup in Dubai, and then following it up with a 4-0 Ashes series victory, the Australia’s men’s Cricket management could have not asked for a better performance from it players across formats.
Mentioning specifically regarding their batters’ returns this Ashes series, Travis Head, Marnus Labuschane, and Usman Khawaja had outstanding returns with the bat, while Cameron Green emerged as the breakthrough performer with both the bat and the ball.
However, Australia’s arguably the best batter in the entire order- Steve Smith, had a pretty ordinary outing as per his standards, as the right-hander could manage to hit only a couple of half-centuries across the 8 innings he played for his side.
He scored a total of 244 runs (5 matches, 8 innings) at an average of 30.50, sans a century to boast of. In fact, this is Smith’s first Ashes series since 2013, where he hasn’t scored past 100 in a single innings.
Moreover, it is the first time since 2017, that Smith’s average (59.87 presently) has fallen below 60 in the Test format.
Despite, all the series numbers, Steve Smith still finished as the 6th highest run scorer in the recently concluded Ashes series.
Just the two fifties for Steve Smith in the Ashes… and his career average has fallen below 60 for the first time in over four years❗️ pic.twitter.com/gFuOPeKRfG
— ESPNcricinfo (@ESPNcricinfo) January 17, 2022
Ricky Ponting defends Smith Smith
Australia’s legendary skipper Ricky Ponting, holds Smith in high regards despite coming up with an ordinary performance as per his standards.
“The standards that he’d set himself for so long, for that three- or four-year period where he took batting to another level, to try and maintain that for four or five or six years – no-one’s ever done it, and no-one will probably ever do it,” Ponting told cricket.com.au.
“You’re going to have your ups and downs and if he’s averaging (in the thirties) in Australia on the back of a couple of lean years, most other batsmen would take that,” Ponting further added.
Ponting further remarked that given the standards that Smith has set for himself, he would certainly review his performances, and it would not take him long to bounce back and hit the purple patch.
“There’s lots of things that we can probably think about and ask questions about, but it’s not going to be long (before Smith bounces back).
“I know what he’s like and he will look back at this – even though Australia has won the series … he’ll look back at his own game and break it down and ask himself those questions as to why things haven’t worked out as much as he would have liked.
“He will come up with the right answers because the best players are the best problem solvers, and if he has got a problem … then he’ll work it out pretty quickly,” Ponting exclaimed.