Image courtesy of: ESPNcricinfo
Australia all-rounder Shane Watson has announced that Steven Smith reminds him of former captain Ricky Ponting.
Watson’s comments come after Smith scored 769 runs at a jaw-dropping average of 128.16 in the recent four-Test series against India. However, his form has not deserted him in the ongoing ODI tri-series as he has amassed 186 runs at a brilliant average of 93.
“It really has been a privilege to see the way he’s been batting and playing and also holding himself as well,” Watson said. “I’ve been very lucky through my career to be able to play with some of the great players that have played for Australia. Ricky Ponting is someone who I idolised and was able to see up close how he dominated world cricket for such a long period of time.
“To see Steve Smith and what he’s doing in this point of time is very much along the lines of what Ricky Ponting was doing when he was dominating. It’s like they’re playing another game. No matter the quality of bowler or who is bowling, they never seem fazed. They’re able to take on whoever is bowling and really is a privilege to be able to see someone who is at their absolute peak.
“I know Steve the way he is the way he works the way he holds himself, this is going to continue for a long period of time as well. I’m sure it will continue through the World Cup as well and he’s going to be one of the crucial men in our batting order.”
During the Test series against India, Smith captained Australia in three out of the four matches since regular skipper Michael Clarke tore his hamstring towards the end of the first Test in Adelaide. Even though the third and fourth Test ended as a draw, Watson was still impressed by Smith’s leadership.
“He’s an impressive leader, pretty chilled, pretty relaxed,” Watson said. “Everyone knows what’s expected from him as well, but he’s also let his bat do the talking as well out there. He reads the game incredibly well for a young man. He’s been born with this cricket intuition as well so in situations he knows where to go to whether it’s with the bat but also as a leader in the field.
“Even up until he got given the captaincy, he was always someone Michael called on. For me I was lucky to have him in and around my IPL franchise as well, so somebody you know you can call on especially in pressure situations you know he’s going to give you really good feedback, so he’s really impressive.”