Steve Smith walked out to boos in this year’s Ashes series but walked off to a standing ovation. Smith fell for 23 on Day 4 of the 5th Ashes Test on Sunday – his lowest score of the series. This was also the only time in the series he failed to cross 50.
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. https://t.co/urIodEUSIB
— Piers Morgan (@piersmorgan) September 15, 2019
Smith ends the series with 774 runs from seven innings at an average of 110.57. The sequence of his scores were 144, 142, 92, 211, 92, 80 and 23.
# This is the highest tally of runs scored by a batsman in a Test series since 1994. Brian Lara had amassed 778 runs in a series 25 years ago.
The previous record for the most runs by a batsman in a Test series in this century had also belonged to Smith – his 769-run tally in the 2014/15 series vs India.
# Steve Smith registered 10 consecutive 50+ scores against England in the course of this year’s Ashes series. This is something that no batsman has done before. Against any opposition. Inzamam ul Haq had nine consecutive 50+ scores against England.
# Smith’s 774 runs in this Ashes series is the fifth-highest run tally for a batsman in an Ashes series and the highest run tally since 1989. Higher run tallies have been recorded by Don Bradman (974 runs in the 1930 series), Wally Hammond (905 runs in the 1928/29 series), Mark Taylor (839 runs in the 1989 series) and Don Bradman (810 in the 1936/37 series).
— ICC (@ICC) September 15, 2019
# Smith also joins an elite list of batsmen who have registered more than 700 runs in a Test series more than once. The others who have done this before are Don Bradman, Sunil Gavaskar, Brian Lara, Everton Weekes and Gary Sobers.
Of course, there were two factors which made Smith’s Bradmanesque series even more special. Firstly, he missed three innings of the series. He had been ruled out of one innings with a suspected concussion and then was forced to miss a Test with continuing concerns over the same knock to the head. Secondly, Smith was playing Test cricket after a gap of 16 months.
Sunil M Gavaskar : 774 runs in 5 Test series vs WI, 1971
Steven PD Smith: 774 runs in 5 Test series vs Eng, 2019
Both missed 1 Test each due to injury.#Ashes19 @stevesmith49 https://t.co/RtOr4LEAhP pic.twitter.com/6R0hsnfm5n
— North Stand Gang – Wankhede (@NorthStandGang) September 15, 2019
There is another uncanny parallel that is being drawn with Smith’s Ashes series. Sunil Gavaskar had also registered 774 runs against West Indies in a Test series in 1971 – in a performance that is often considered to be one of the greatest Test batting performances by an Indian. Gavaskar had also missed one Test in that series.
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