Steve Smith is apparently back in favour once again, as the accolades continue to roll in and the comparisons to Don Bradman seem to be non-stop.
Former Australian bowler Kerry O’Keefe, a leg-spinner who played his Test cricket back in the 70s and is now approaching his 70s, had some complimentary things to say about Smith.
Bradman, so the story goes, honed his skills by hitting a golf ball with a stump into the side of a water tank, had what many consider the best hand-eye coordination ever seen in cricket.
Of Smith, O’Keefe said, “His hand-eye coordination is second to Bradman, without question.” O’Keefe was speaking on Triple M’s Dead Set Legends.
“He (Smith) gets into strange positions but if you freeze-frame him at contact his head is as still as if it were on a stick, and that’s all you’ve got to do. “Chanderpaul, all those players had extravagant movements, but their head was on a stick at point of contact.”
There are many who would like to see our heads on a stick, but it seldom seems as though they are giving us praise.
O’Keefe also had some advice for the Poms. He urged them to attack Smith, rather than simply negate him. That seems odd advice to us, attacking a player who is climbing the tons list and could conceivably pass Ricky Ponting in three or four years at his current pace.
Then again, the strategy did show some results in Brisbane where Smith scored just 17 runs in the first session of day three as Smith faced an onside field stacked with bizarre fields that did seem to succeed in giving Smith a headache.
It did not withstand Smith for long; however, as he patiently waited and eventually finished Australia’s first innings with 141 of 326 balls.
Good luck with that, England. At the moment, it seems that the best strategy to slow down or stop Smith is to engage him in a Brisbane bar brawl with Ben Stokes.