Ashes: How Steve Smith can be a One-Man Demolition Squad Against England
Steve Smith has the runs and reputation to become England's No. 1 enemy in The Ashes. And while acknowledging the prowess of enemies in The Ashes is like waving the white flag, Steve Smith is determined to silence the Three Lions and walk away with the biggest prize of the hunt - respect.
In a battle which sees shots fired from the mouth, Steve Smith is out to prove runs are what win cricketing wars. The prodigal cricketer has seen the rivalry, has experienced the bitterness and reveled in the victor's spoils. The Australians though have not won The Ashes in England since 2001 and Smith is determined to change all of that and 'urn' the opposition's respect. (Harris Announces Retirement)
Smith may well be the England's No. 1 target this summer. After all, he was right up in the hit-list in the last Ashes as well. The Poms maligned him off the field, rubbished his technique on it, attacked him with brazen bouncers and with even more brazen words. The highly-talented batsman though was much like a nonchalant elephant letting barking dogs bark - stomping his way to glory all the while. "I remember Kevin Pietersen and Ian Bell getting into me quite a bit," Smith was quoted as saying of his bitter Ashes memory. "I don't think they really rated the way I played. But maybe I've changed their views now, perhaps a little bit." (Four Key Australia Players for England to Contend With)
For someone who is still just 26, the upcoming series would be Smith's fourth Ashes campaign. He has three centuries and another three fifties from 13 matches which make him not just a dangerous adversary but one who deserves respect. Respecting an opponent though is like putting up a white flag in the Ashes. Asked if England's scathing opinion of him was a botheration, Smith said scoring is all that matters. "It doesn't bother me at all. I just want to keep going out there and performing and doing well." (Hazlewood Happy to Walk in McGrath's Ashes Shadow)
Doing well is an understated way of describing what Smith is capable of. An average of 56.23 and a habit of hitting tons, the New South Wales-born player is often described as Australia's silent killer. He himself doesn't like big words, hardly throws a bashful challenge and rarely helps make scandalous headlines. But Smith more than makes up for all of it by marauding the opposition. And when it comes to opponents, there's no team bigger for the Aussies than their nemesis - England. (Jason Gillespie: Darren Lehmann's Nous Gives Australia Ashes Edge)
Interestingly, Smith found his Test feet two years ago during a match at The Oval. He slapped an unbeaten 138 and has since scored a century in almost every two Tests. However, shaky views against his skills - which seem more like silent prayers for England - remain with British media recently questioning the habitual offenders' ability to ' hit and run.' Their views, their words, their comments and even their prayers may not come to much if Smith decides to tread and trample once again. (Australia Favourite, But England Will Fight: Pietersen)