Pakistan v Australia 2010 July 9, 2010

Plain name, extraordinary talent

An average 21-year-old would find it hard to deal with the hype. But there is nothing average about Steven Smith
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Steven Smith. The name could hardly be less remarkable. It's so common that someone with the same name has already worn the baggy green. However, this Steven Smith, who is preparing for a Test debut against Pakistan at Lord's on Tuesday, is anything but ordinary.

Steve Waugh has called him one of the most promising cricketers Australia has seen for 20 years. Ricky Ponting reckons everything he touches turns to gold. His state captain Simon Katich was blown away with the improvement in Smith's bowling last summer.

They're big statements, and the average 21-year-old would find it hard to deal with the hype. Not this young man, because the most striking feature of Smith's game is his complete confidence, whether he's taking one-handed catches on the boundary, innovating against fast bowlers or tossing up juicy legbreaks.

"I'm not really the nervous type," he says, when asked if the pressure of a Test debut at Lord's will get to him. There is no arrogance in his words; he is quietly spoken, and presents the answer as a simple statement of fact. The evidence is there for all to see.

When he made his ODI debut at the MCG in February his legspin went for 78 runs as the field stayed up and the West Indies batsmen went over the top. Ponting wanted to push men back but Smith, then 20, asked his captain, a veteran of 300-plus ODIs, to keep them in the circle; he wanted to create wicket opportunities.

In his fifth ODI, he was batting in the 50th over with his vice-captain Michael Clarke on 99 at the other end, and the opening bowler Tim Bresnan was running in to bowl. Smith tried a reverse slog. It didn't come off, but the fact he even attempted the shot says much about his self-assurance. Under Bob Simpson, such impudence from a new player would have been almost a hanging offence. The current coach, Tim Nielsen, encourages Smith to be himself, and says he brings a buzz to the group.

Nathan Hauritz's foot injury means that on Tuesday, Smith will become the eighth spinner Australia have used in Tests since his idol Shane Warne retired. He will be only the second Australian spinner to debut at Lord's, after Hugh Trumble in 1890, and the first Australian to begin his Test career there since Len Pascoe, Richie Robinson and Craig Serjeant all started together in 1977.

"It's one of the better places to make your debut ," Smith, who played an ODI at Lord's last week, says. "It's something that I will always remember. It's a pretty amazing place to play cricket. I couldn't believe how big the slope is on the field when I first got there. It's just an amazing place and if I get the chance to play out there it will be a dream come true, really."

He has already lived a dream of sorts by having one-on-one coaching with Warne, who was the reason Smith switched from seam-up to lespin at the age of 14. Warne gave Smith some advice when he was called in as cover for the Boxing Day Test last summer, and the pair have met for some extra sessions since then.

Warne has helped with some of the mechanics of bowling legspin - Smith has slowed his run-up and keeps his shoulder higher - but also the mental side of the game. A legspinner must be able to outfox his opponent and Warne was the undisputed master of the psychological battle.

Smith doesn't have the variations that Warne possessed, but remember, he is only 21. He has the legbreak, the top-spinner, the wrong'un, the backspinner and his own take on the flipper, a ball that pops out of the front of the hand. Stepping up from limited-overs cricket to the Test arena might require a change in bowling strategy, but Smith doesn't want to stray too far from his formula.

"I don't really like to change too much," he says. "Obviously in one-day cricket you've got to try and not go for too many runs. I like to bowl different balls, like a backspinner quite a bit, to get the batsman off strike. In Test matches it's probably just my legspinner that will come out a lot more, and just about building into your spell and trying to sort the batsman out, sort out what he's doing and just being patient.

"Being a spinner, you always want to be taking wickets. The best way in any form of the game to slow the rate down is to be taking wickets and if you give yourself every opportunity to do that then everything is going to hopefully work in your favour. It's about being confident and being yourself and do what comes to you naturally. That's just the way I bowl, I guess. If I start bowling flat not much happens so I've got to keep giving the ball air."

But for all the talk of Smith being a legspinner, and that will be his primary role against Pakistan, he has a better first-class record as a batsman. Already Smith has four first-class centuries, in only 13 matches, and the brisk rate at which he scores makes him extra valuable in the lower order.

He will probably bat at No. 8 in the Tests, behind Tim Paine and ahead of Mitchell Johnson, but certainly has the potential to be a top-six player. While Warne was the man the young Smith looked to for bowling inspiration it's no surprise to find out his batting idol is a man who, like Smith, was always on the attack.

"I always liked watching Michael Slater," Smith says. "He went pretty hard at the ball and with the big West Indian quicks bowling at 150kph he was just slashing at them. It's the same way I play."

Smith was a talented junior tennis player and there remains the hint of a forehand smash in some of his cricket strokes. The reverse-sweep might even make an appearance in his first Test innings. "If there's an opportunity, maybe, I wouldn't write it off," he says. "I think I am batting quite low if I am going to play. You never know what's going to happen."

That last sentence sums up Smith as a cricketer. We'll soon see what Smith can bring to Test cricket, but you can bet it won't be boring.

Brydon Coverdale is a staff writer at Cricinfo

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • Andrew_S on July 13, 2010, 14:48 GMT

    What concerns me as an Australian, is that the selectors in their attempts to shoehorn Smith into becoming the next Shane Warne, they could be destroying the next Adam Gilchrist (at least as a batsman). So far in his first class career Smith has shown the potential to be a destructive hitter coming in at no 5 or 6 in the order, but will the attempt to focus on his bowling and have him coming in so low in the order in international cricket (4 hundreds in 13 first class matches ave of 56 to Paine's 1 hundred in about 40 ave 31 and Smith is projected to bat below Paine and even in ODI's and 20-20 he has been batting behind the likes of James Hopes) be detrimental to his progress as a batsman.

  • on July 12, 2010, 8:06 GMT

    excessively overrated, hardly will come upto the expectations i guess, a few matches and ppl claim him to be next warney, ah man! his run up, action seems too hard to get the ball on the desired spot batsmen fear, well, lets see what happens to this extremely hyped aussie wiz kid

  • longrun on July 11, 2010, 11:09 GMT

    i hope steve smith does well. if he can live up to the hype he will be good for cricket. has shown glimpses in limited over formats, but test cricket is where it's at. some blokes are better test bowlers than first class bowlers. i think the selectors hand being forced with the hauritz injury may be a blessing in disguise. throw him in the deep end and see if he can swim. can't go too over the top too early though, look at warne's debut, and look at kreja (spell check), vastly different returns for vastly different careers. c'arn steve

  • on July 11, 2010, 9:09 GMT

    i have seen smith in couple of matches if pak batting plays average , smith might get no wicket, best of luck smith, pak are not best side to debut against , there was a number crunching article on cricinfo as well

  • fartarse09 on July 11, 2010, 8:43 GMT

    I also think the caption to the photo above is amusing - 'Steven Smith is an attacking legspinner, aggressive batsman and athletic fielder'. Well, so am I, and I've only got 26 less first class wickets than Smith. Maybe I should prepare an application?

  • fartarse09 on July 11, 2010, 8:41 GMT

    I cannot believe the hype over this guy and his bowling. He had one day out against the perpetual Shield wooden spooners - take that day out of his record, his average is over 60. With that innings in, his average is still 48 or something. If his name wasn't Steven Smith, would we be choosing him on that record? Of course not. What a load of rubbish saying that there's nothing ordinary about him. His first class record leading into his test debut is possibly the most ordinary there's been. ODI form doesn't automatically transfer into test cricket. Just ask Simon Davis, Simon O'Donnell, Brad Hogg, Paul Wilson, etc. Consider Smith's bowling summer last year in comparison to a Jason Krejza. Is he really that exciting? Not to this little black duck.

  • on July 11, 2010, 6:50 GMT

    He's a batting allrounder not a bowling one. Shouldn't be the main spinner. Should be spin support. Cam White all over again. Should have gotten Steve O'keefe or Xavier Doherty as the spinner and get Smith as North's backup.

  • on July 11, 2010, 5:28 GMT

    Steve is a lot better batsman than a bowler. it merely adds more pressure to u bcuz people expect from u to take wickets and also score runs. keep things simple, do the job that u r assigned and then ur batting is a bonus. ans wish the best...coz u'll be the target of every Paki batsman as we saw in T20.

  • on July 11, 2010, 5:28 GMT

    Steve is a lot better batsman than a bowler. it merely adds more pressure to u bcuz people expect from u to take wickets and also score runs. keep things simple, do the job that u r assigned and then ur batting is a bonus. ans wish the best...coz u'll be the target of every Paki batsman as we saw in T20.

  • insightfulcricketer on July 10, 2010, 22:08 GMT

    Good luck mate! Always there is nervous excitement in the air for a true cricket lover when a fast bowler or a leg spinner of any team makes his debut. Steve has shown heart in 20/20s by throwing the ball up even when the more experienced bowlers like bhajji fires them in. So godspeed to you Steve - Indians will be lurking in their dens come October so the more experienced you are by then the more exciting the contest will be then.

  • Andrew_S on July 13, 2010, 14:48 GMT

    What concerns me as an Australian, is that the selectors in their attempts to shoehorn Smith into becoming the next Shane Warne, they could be destroying the next Adam Gilchrist (at least as a batsman). So far in his first class career Smith has shown the potential to be a destructive hitter coming in at no 5 or 6 in the order, but will the attempt to focus on his bowling and have him coming in so low in the order in international cricket (4 hundreds in 13 first class matches ave of 56 to Paine's 1 hundred in about 40 ave 31 and Smith is projected to bat below Paine and even in ODI's and 20-20 he has been batting behind the likes of James Hopes) be detrimental to his progress as a batsman.

  • on July 12, 2010, 8:06 GMT

    excessively overrated, hardly will come upto the expectations i guess, a few matches and ppl claim him to be next warney, ah man! his run up, action seems too hard to get the ball on the desired spot batsmen fear, well, lets see what happens to this extremely hyped aussie wiz kid

  • longrun on July 11, 2010, 11:09 GMT

    i hope steve smith does well. if he can live up to the hype he will be good for cricket. has shown glimpses in limited over formats, but test cricket is where it's at. some blokes are better test bowlers than first class bowlers. i think the selectors hand being forced with the hauritz injury may be a blessing in disguise. throw him in the deep end and see if he can swim. can't go too over the top too early though, look at warne's debut, and look at kreja (spell check), vastly different returns for vastly different careers. c'arn steve

  • on July 11, 2010, 9:09 GMT

    i have seen smith in couple of matches if pak batting plays average , smith might get no wicket, best of luck smith, pak are not best side to debut against , there was a number crunching article on cricinfo as well

  • fartarse09 on July 11, 2010, 8:43 GMT

    I also think the caption to the photo above is amusing - 'Steven Smith is an attacking legspinner, aggressive batsman and athletic fielder'. Well, so am I, and I've only got 26 less first class wickets than Smith. Maybe I should prepare an application?

  • fartarse09 on July 11, 2010, 8:41 GMT

    I cannot believe the hype over this guy and his bowling. He had one day out against the perpetual Shield wooden spooners - take that day out of his record, his average is over 60. With that innings in, his average is still 48 or something. If his name wasn't Steven Smith, would we be choosing him on that record? Of course not. What a load of rubbish saying that there's nothing ordinary about him. His first class record leading into his test debut is possibly the most ordinary there's been. ODI form doesn't automatically transfer into test cricket. Just ask Simon Davis, Simon O'Donnell, Brad Hogg, Paul Wilson, etc. Consider Smith's bowling summer last year in comparison to a Jason Krejza. Is he really that exciting? Not to this little black duck.

  • on July 11, 2010, 6:50 GMT

    He's a batting allrounder not a bowling one. Shouldn't be the main spinner. Should be spin support. Cam White all over again. Should have gotten Steve O'keefe or Xavier Doherty as the spinner and get Smith as North's backup.

  • on July 11, 2010, 5:28 GMT

    Steve is a lot better batsman than a bowler. it merely adds more pressure to u bcuz people expect from u to take wickets and also score runs. keep things simple, do the job that u r assigned and then ur batting is a bonus. ans wish the best...coz u'll be the target of every Paki batsman as we saw in T20.

  • on July 11, 2010, 5:28 GMT

    Steve is a lot better batsman than a bowler. it merely adds more pressure to u bcuz people expect from u to take wickets and also score runs. keep things simple, do the job that u r assigned and then ur batting is a bonus. ans wish the best...coz u'll be the target of every Paki batsman as we saw in T20.

  • insightfulcricketer on July 10, 2010, 22:08 GMT

    Good luck mate! Always there is nervous excitement in the air for a true cricket lover when a fast bowler or a leg spinner of any team makes his debut. Steve has shown heart in 20/20s by throwing the ball up even when the more experienced bowlers like bhajji fires them in. So godspeed to you Steve - Indians will be lurking in their dens come October so the more experienced you are by then the more exciting the contest will be then.

  • on July 10, 2010, 21:03 GMT

    Smithy is the best young cricketer in Australia but he is definitely a better batsman than bowler. He is a far superior bat than both Marcus North and Tim Paine and should bat above both of them. Some of the comments here are ill informed. I have been watching Smithy since he was 16 as a keen obsevrer of Sydney club cricket where he debuted as an opening batsman for the Sutherland Sharkies. Go Smithy!

  • Something_Witty on July 10, 2010, 17:20 GMT

    @Nazam Sherazi, Smith is not being preferred to Hauritz, Hauritz is currently injured, if he were not, Steve Smith would be carrying the drinks. Carn Smithy, show us what you've got.

  • m.a.khokhar on July 10, 2010, 12:44 GMT

    Smith no doubt is talented cricketer .Not only he bowls well and good feilder but also a very very good batsman.. he has all the Variations in his book of legspin all he need to be pateint and apply himself and wait for the oppartunity . Coz pakistani do play spinners well and to make runs against him can earn him the wickets.. Pakistan has one of the weakest batting order without Younus and Yousaf , and it is the great chance to spark against inexperience batting line up.. and also he is the very unorthodox busy and attacking player . Pakistan may get a chance to get 5 wickets to around 200 but one partnership of 80 runs can be enough for them to make 350 .. coz he ll really frustrate the Pakistani feilders.. so good luck Smith and very good luck tp Pakistan.. Long live Pakistan..

  • on July 10, 2010, 11:07 GMT

    I think Hauritz is alot better than Smith bcoz he troubled england in ashes and troubled pakis in australia.CA is doing really bad thing by discouraging Hauritz and preferring Smithy to Hauritz.

  • RameshSubramaniam on July 10, 2010, 9:07 GMT

    I really do not know about Smith's batting.He may good at batting at 5 or 6. Australial is already loaded with good batsmen.So they need not have a batsmen who bat at 8 but they need strike bowler incase their Pace attack is out of sort which is expected most of the times with current attack.But is he good enough to lead the attack in the test match? Can he give a break through if opponents were going along nicely at 150 for 1 before lunch? Based on the one day bowling performance, definitely not. He can be the 5th bowler and batting at 7 and the good fielder too. I guess Ponting is cheating himself &fans by giving positive comments about Smith and increasing pressure on Smith. Against Pakistan he still may get success benifitting from mindless batting from some of the younsters but Pakistan batsmen are too talented and if they get their and eye and brain in, Smith's test career might be ove.? Is Ponting thinking that he can get 20 wickets with the spin option of North and Smith?

  • swerner on July 10, 2010, 7:05 GMT

    oh dear- as always we see the usual ill-informed parochial comments from a handful of sub-continental "experts" (sadly taking the gloss off some fantastic contributions from the majority of Pakistani and Indian contibuting readers who really know their cricket.. Hashim- to suggest that Steve Smith can't bat -ludicrous. Had you seen any of his first-class cricket, you too would realise he is at this early stage a far better batsman than a bowler; quite capable, in FITST CLASS cricket of excelling at 5 or 6. As with most Australian spinners, he will learn on the job, if given time; for unoike Indians,Pakistanis and Sri Lankans, he was not brought up bowling on turning tracks and will have had far less bowling than a 21 y/o from the sub-continent, and thus is not, of course yet a true first-class spinner..BUT has has the ability and with a few years bowling at that level behind him, will hopefully become a true test "allrounder". He is not a bowler, he is an allrounder, talented, & raw.

  • Marcio on July 10, 2010, 4:04 GMT

    It's easy to judge people at first glance. As usual, there are comments here from people who don't know what they are talking about, but I guess its a free forum. Saying Smith can't bat is ridiculous. He is a very good batsman, and if my memory serves me right is averaging in the 40s or 50s in first class cricket in Australia. He is also very unorthodox, so not easy to contain. His fielding is also excellent.

    As for his bowling, time will tell. He doesn't appear to be a big spinner of the ball.

    One thing he does have is great self-beleif and fearlessness. However, in the long run, like all people, his true tests of character will be when he is failing, not when he is successding. Then we will see how far his confidence really goes.

    Finally, I like him a cricketer. He adds a lot of zest to the team. Good luck to him.

  • Tanvir110 on July 10, 2010, 3:11 GMT

    be care full bcz u will be the target of every pakistani batsman.........good luck Steven..

  • Desihungama on July 9, 2010, 23:44 GMT

    Steven Mate! Congrats dude on being a spinner to be debuted at Lord's what after 120 years? I certainly do hope you get hit around. Heck, that bias but let's get on with the game on Tuesday.

  • ygkd on July 9, 2010, 22:42 GMT

    Smith has plenty of energy and does bounce around beautifully, especially in the field. However, let us remember all the other young guns of Australian spin who were destined to be the next Warne. We are becoming fixated on youth alone. It is easy to bounce around when you're twenty-odd and all you've known are limitless opportunities that you haven't really earned yet. Come back in five years when his confidence has been dented like Bryce McGain's was, or dropped unfairly like Jason Kreuza, or stopped bowling like Cameron White. Anybody remember someone called Dan Cullen or Beau Casson? Okay, Smith can bat a bit and bowl a bit, but once upon a time he'd have got nowhere near a Test berth at his age and for good reason. As it is, if he does play, either of 2 things could happen. Pakistan are not switched on and Smith lands easy runs & wickets which proves nothing or Pakistan actually turns up and Smith doesn't turn - because quite frankly he's an overspun leggie in more ways than 1.

  • sajid.dar on July 9, 2010, 20:48 GMT

    OVERRATED....he is an australian n resembles warne,,,thus he is really really overrated!!! one day or 20-20 is ok but he is nt a test bowler..

  • on July 9, 2010, 20:00 GMT

    @Zahidsaltin : perhaps you need to look at the Pakistani team again...

  • manihammad on July 9, 2010, 19:37 GMT

    lets see..as always since Warne retired..every spinner which makes debut is considered the next big thing..so lets see how well this young guy take specially he has a vulnerable Pak batting infront of him..hurrh what a moment to shine.

  • Black-Panther on July 9, 2010, 18:48 GMT

    It's good to see a young leg spinner in the Test Squad for any team. Hope he'll get his chance to show his talent in longest and toughest version of the game. Moreover, he's playing against Pakistan and they definitely have very good batmen of spin bowling. So it will be a good test for him and it's the best chance for him to grove some skills and gain some confidence before Ashes. Good Luck.

  • on July 9, 2010, 18:10 GMT

    I personally feel that steven smith is an over rated player.I am impressed with his bowling and fielding but he is not good with the bat.The Australain cricket is already comparing him to the legend Shane Warne. It will take time for him to groom. He is a quick learner but still can not be compared to Warne.

  • Bilal_Choudry on July 9, 2010, 15:37 GMT

    lets call him ian salsbury of Australia ... afridi and co will rip him apart

  • on July 9, 2010, 14:10 GMT

    I know stevie boy u aint nervous. But I tell you what Pakistanis are going to be on a attack mode against you. They will brutally demoralize ya and you would not be able to stand against them. Piece of advice for ya ... just keep a low profile.

  • on July 9, 2010, 13:31 GMT

    we have seen a bowling allrounder in mitchell johnson.but this man promises something different.whatever cricket he has played,he's done well.hopefuly australia find another shane warne in him.

  • on July 9, 2010, 13:19 GMT

    I first saw Steve Smith playing for Sutherland Sharks in Sydney grade cricket when he was about 16. He is a good leg-spinner but a really promising batsman. Can't really understand why the selectors can't see that he is first and foremost a batsman and the best in the country of his age.

  • bolthaa on July 9, 2010, 12:58 GMT

    Currently Aussies dont have a quality spinner. They need to build hype to raise questions in Pak batsmen... TOO BAD.. EXTRAORDINARY TALENT....He can only be praised if this talent gets converted to performance. .... Brydon Coverdale needs to wait to see him perform. May be he feels he can't write at all if Smith doesnt perform.. Thats Y he has done his duty thinking he cant do it in future..........LOL

  • on July 9, 2010, 12:25 GMT

    pakistan team must will try to punish and down his confidence but it will be great to see ponting how he supporting steven if he get going it will be great for world cricket

  • Winsome on July 9, 2010, 11:56 GMT

    Problem is Dutchy, we don't have any other spin bowlers. The state teams handle them badly and give them hardly any matches so we are stuck with just about the only spin bowler in Australia in Smith getting regular matches for his team. This is why North was picked as well. Because both of them can bat they are the only ones with any sort of continuity at first class level. Apart from McGain and the selectors have washed their hands of him.

    You can't blame the selectors, the cupboard is bare and the state teams can take some of the blame for that.

  • Hasso29 on July 9, 2010, 11:39 GMT

    We cant hope too much from pakistani team in test matches. We made Nathan Hauritz special.

  • Zahidsaltin on July 9, 2010, 10:34 GMT

    Smith is no big bowler. He may do wonders against a Pakistan team who hasn't got a single world class batsman but when it comes to playing India, South Africa, Sirilanka or England, his bowlling average will be around 75.

  • S.N.Singh on July 9, 2010, 10:13 GMT

    I THINK STEVE SMITH WILL BE THE BEST ALROUNDER AUSTRALIA EVER HAVE. HE WILL BE A BOWLER AND PLAYER JUST LIKE RICHIE BANAUD. HE IS ONE THAT AUSTRALIA DO NOT REGULARLY HAVE , YOUTH. AUSTRALIA USUALLY GET PLAYERS IN THE 30'S. HE WILL DEVELOPE INTO A GOOD BATSMAN/ALROUNDER. S.N.SINGH

  • Godfather007 on July 9, 2010, 10:04 GMT

    Just have a look at the FC & LA bowling averages of the other "talents" playing in ur domestic circuit like Jon Holland,Krejza,Dan Cullen,Xavier Doherty then u will realise where they stand.I think u all remember how the 37 year old Bryce

    McGain was smashed for 147 runs in just 18 overs by the proteas on his debut.This is what u call "talent

    & depth" in ur spin department when even a 37 year old can find a place in the Australian squad.

  • Moppa on July 9, 2010, 9:42 GMT

    Agree with Dutchy. Smith should play but having him as one of four bowlers makes the team unbalanced. If Pak bat well, we'll be caught short. The better selection would be to drop either Hussey or North and play Smith at 6 or 7, with four specialist bowlers. Better off having an extra bowler than an extra batsman, especially when our tailenders are quite good batsmen.

  • Bigbanger666 on July 9, 2010, 9:23 GMT

    Sutty101, couldn't agree more. Those making comments regarding his current bowling record need to take a look back at Warnies first few tests when he was smashed all over the park. He is a young guy learning the hardest of all bowling trades. His bowling will take a while to fully develop which is fine. They need to keep punching games into him. He is going to be an excitement machine at test level and will prove to be a game turner in the future with bat and ball!!!!

  • abi12 on July 9, 2010, 9:23 GMT

    Hey Zubair Khan

    I think you dont know enough about steve smith.

    He was one of the leading run scorers in the australia domestic first class season with a couple of hundreds, once made 80 off about 50 balls for NSW after they were struggling after losing 6 wickets. He also made a 7 for with NSW with his leg spin and just recently bowled kevin pietrson for a duck.

    I think u havent researched enough about him and your saying this is all a overhype because your scared of his talents and that he might be the next warne and that Australia is going to come back to dominance.

  • popcorn on July 9, 2010, 9:22 GMT

    I am delighted that Steven Smith has got this God-sent opportunity to get a Baggy Green,which has happened because of the unfortunate ankle injury to Nathan Hauritz. These two Tests followed by two Tests in India in October will be the perfect blooding for this talented leg spinner to make the Ashes Team at his home ground,the SCG - like Shane Warne and Stuart Macgill did - Nathan Hauritz and Steven Smith.Maybe earlier too.To compare him with Shane warne and Anil Kumble or Muthiah Muralidharan at this nascent stage is foolish, to say the least. He is definitely a better bat than all three of them but it's his Test match bowling is what we want to see.I hope, for Australia's sake and his own sake that Smith does well.Best of luck,mate.You're a big boy now.

  • antiboson21 on July 9, 2010, 9:20 GMT

    I am myself a pakistani born legspinner recently played in england league cricket for two years. I like steven smith as a legspinner because he bowls brave leg spinners like warne. But one drastically different thing with steven smith is that his leg spinners are not rippers like warne. Kaneria gets more turn as well. Leg spinners means massive turn, like rippers with extreme accurate line of length like warne. Rest is a bonus. Steven smith is a normal leg spinner. Absoloutely can not be compared with warne. A leg spinner is a bowler who creates ripping leg spinners even from a non turning flat wicket like warne, Qadir and kanera to some extent. Smith also has no control over his line of length. He bowls more bad balls than good ones. His faster one is good, but if u have a weak non ripping leg spinner you do not have any right to be compared with warne may b if u are an australian. I expect pakistan to get maximum runs out of him to adopt sensible miandad apprach. waqas janjua

  • on July 9, 2010, 9:16 GMT

    i still cant believe wat happened 2 Paine... i alwayz thought of him as nxt Gilli and was sure he wud make it 2 any team on the pure basis of his battin but Haddin(who's another rlly gud opening batsman) didnt let him grasp the opportunity... and en Paine finally got a chance due 2 Haddin's injury, his batting surprisingly became xtraaaa slow... He srsly has the talent of bein the nxt BUG HITTER of Aus only if he playz his natural game...

  • dutchy on July 9, 2010, 8:52 GMT

    We've got to stop picking batsmen who bowl as bowlers. Remember Cameron White in India? Smith is not a test quality bowler - he's not even a consistent first class bowler yet. Play him as a batsman or not at all.

  • on July 9, 2010, 8:42 GMT

    I might be wrong but so far I haven't found anything special in this guy! he bowls average leg spinners, his control is nowhere near Warne's, Kumble's or even Kaneria's and he hasn't done anything special as a batsman! I only remember 2 of the catches he took, and that is the only good thing he has done as far as my memory is concerned! The guy has played 5 ODIs with a batting highest of 41 and bowling highest of 2/34. 13 T/20s with a batting highest of 27 and bowling highest of 3/20! And tell you what, he has the bowling average of 48 in first class cricket and he is already been compared to Warne! lol, this is totally ridiculous, thats what you call overhype!

  • Winsome on July 9, 2010, 8:37 GMT

    He has a lot to learn about bowling, but I do like this kid. He is bounces around, loads of energy and looks like he has the right attitude for a spin bowler. That is, a very thick skin and grit.

    We need plenty of them in the Aussie team. Seems like there are too many big babies at the moment.

    johntycodes, you are right about Paine, what the hell has happened to that guy? His batting has gone down the toilet.

  • Sutty101 on July 9, 2010, 8:27 GMT

    Has the potential to be a top 6 player?..... He should already be in the top 6. It's an absolute joke that they plan on batting Tim Paine ahead of him in the order, and he's certainly a far better cricketer already than Marcus North is.

  • on July 9, 2010, 7:45 GMT

    Please Pakistan don't make another mediocre Australian spinner seem world class like we did with Hauritz. Looking at Smith's record and the way he has bowled so far in his brief career I can safely say calling him a future spinning great is like calling Shazaib Hasan a future Sehwag. If he bowls to his ability and is not assisted by ever helpful Pakistani batsmen, he is in for a thrashing of Krejzan proportions.

  • on July 9, 2010, 7:42 GMT

    lol make a buzz and buzz will take his ball out of ground beleive me this bowler is just a sweet a honey for playing. i would love to play him and hit him sixes:P

  • madmadmadaxe on July 9, 2010, 7:38 GMT

    I saw him play a state 20/20 game about 14 months ago when no one had heard of him. He was a total unknown to the crowd who were there to see phil hughes, warner and katich. Smith dropped a few catches and had an average game. My exact words were:

    "This will be the last we see of this guy. At this rate he'll go nowhere"

    He's certainly shut me up! Now i love watching him play. Go Smithy do proud! Let's hope I'm never asked to be a selector. I've got no idea.

  • on July 9, 2010, 7:34 GMT

    Sorry to say but smith should be punished by umer akmal badly in tests as well. so its a not a good turn by cricket Australia .... Best thing is to just bring in Tait. Cheers

  • plsn on July 9, 2010, 7:28 GMT

    His baptism against the sub-continent batsmen should be in this order - Pak - Bangla- Sri Lanka- India. Don't expose the young lad to the Indians prematurely. They will cut short a promising career. Best of luck Stevie boy. We are all dying to see a classy leg spinner - since Kumble. Yes, I am an Indian!!

  • on July 9, 2010, 7:13 GMT

    I jst luv SMITH though wudnt lyk him 2 perform well against Pak :P ... the thing is u jst cant keep him away 4rom the game, he has 2 b the BEST Aussie fielder eva produced and is very entertaining in batting and bowling... @Jonthycodes - u r spot on, i was surprised 2 c Paine battin so slow in international games... he is a very attackin batsman(gilchrist-type) and his strike rate in Domestic is around a massive 200 - dunno wat happened 2 him...

  • on July 9, 2010, 7:13 GMT

    smith seems a good talent. i was happy the way he bowled. But his real talent will be know when he plays agains the best spin playing nations like india,pakistan, and srilanka. I bleave most of his dismissels where not so impressive. On the other hand o' kee has impresed and had a great first match. i recon now smith has to prove a lot about himself.

  • 68704 on July 9, 2010, 6:39 GMT

    Steve Smith is an amazing cricketer. He is always on the ball, whether he is battting, bowing or fielding. He may end up with a failure or two, but it will not be for nerves or for want of effort. Whether it is T20, fifty overs or now test cricket , I know that he will not let the situation get to him or not give off his best. He is in the mould of a few fearless young Australians like Ricky Ponting and Shane Warne were. Australian cricket has not had too many potential winners in recent times , with the possible exception of Mitchell Johnson. If Aiustralia persists with Steve Smith in all forms of the game , as I am sure they will do , he will be an integral part of the team"s success . He can certainly give a lot more variety to the team in transition that Australia currently is. Ramanujam Sridhar Ramanujam Sridhar

  • on July 9, 2010, 6:38 GMT

    C,mon Steve!!! You can do it!

  • waseemsarwar on July 9, 2010, 6:29 GMT

    well he has choose a right team to start his career in Tests .Pakistan always srugle against likes of Warne and Kumble, perhaps Malik, Umar Akmal and Afridi will like to face him but he has a big heart and he always goes for wicket much like Warne. Best of Luck Smith against US, i wish you to take wickets against a thin Top and Middle order.

  • johntycodes on July 9, 2010, 5:50 GMT

    Interesting to read there that the aussie coach has said to smith just to play his natural game. I hope nielson did the same with paine's batting instead of telling him to be more defensive and play himself in. Now paine has lost all of what made him good with the bat, his unorthadox shot making and quick runs. Now he can't bat at all and his keeping is terrible.

  • Scgboy on July 9, 2010, 5:27 GMT

    son , good luck and do us proud.

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  • Scgboy on July 9, 2010, 5:27 GMT

    son , good luck and do us proud.

  • johntycodes on July 9, 2010, 5:50 GMT

    Interesting to read there that the aussie coach has said to smith just to play his natural game. I hope nielson did the same with paine's batting instead of telling him to be more defensive and play himself in. Now paine has lost all of what made him good with the bat, his unorthadox shot making and quick runs. Now he can't bat at all and his keeping is terrible.

  • waseemsarwar on July 9, 2010, 6:29 GMT

    well he has choose a right team to start his career in Tests .Pakistan always srugle against likes of Warne and Kumble, perhaps Malik, Umar Akmal and Afridi will like to face him but he has a big heart and he always goes for wicket much like Warne. Best of Luck Smith against US, i wish you to take wickets against a thin Top and Middle order.

  • on July 9, 2010, 6:38 GMT

    C,mon Steve!!! You can do it!

  • 68704 on July 9, 2010, 6:39 GMT

    Steve Smith is an amazing cricketer. He is always on the ball, whether he is battting, bowing or fielding. He may end up with a failure or two, but it will not be for nerves or for want of effort. Whether it is T20, fifty overs or now test cricket , I know that he will not let the situation get to him or not give off his best. He is in the mould of a few fearless young Australians like Ricky Ponting and Shane Warne were. Australian cricket has not had too many potential winners in recent times , with the possible exception of Mitchell Johnson. If Aiustralia persists with Steve Smith in all forms of the game , as I am sure they will do , he will be an integral part of the team"s success . He can certainly give a lot more variety to the team in transition that Australia currently is. Ramanujam Sridhar Ramanujam Sridhar

  • on July 9, 2010, 7:13 GMT

    smith seems a good talent. i was happy the way he bowled. But his real talent will be know when he plays agains the best spin playing nations like india,pakistan, and srilanka. I bleave most of his dismissels where not so impressive. On the other hand o' kee has impresed and had a great first match. i recon now smith has to prove a lot about himself.

  • on July 9, 2010, 7:13 GMT

    I jst luv SMITH though wudnt lyk him 2 perform well against Pak :P ... the thing is u jst cant keep him away 4rom the game, he has 2 b the BEST Aussie fielder eva produced and is very entertaining in batting and bowling... @Jonthycodes - u r spot on, i was surprised 2 c Paine battin so slow in international games... he is a very attackin batsman(gilchrist-type) and his strike rate in Domestic is around a massive 200 - dunno wat happened 2 him...

  • plsn on July 9, 2010, 7:28 GMT

    His baptism against the sub-continent batsmen should be in this order - Pak - Bangla- Sri Lanka- India. Don't expose the young lad to the Indians prematurely. They will cut short a promising career. Best of luck Stevie boy. We are all dying to see a classy leg spinner - since Kumble. Yes, I am an Indian!!

  • on July 9, 2010, 7:34 GMT

    Sorry to say but smith should be punished by umer akmal badly in tests as well. so its a not a good turn by cricket Australia .... Best thing is to just bring in Tait. Cheers

  • madmadmadaxe on July 9, 2010, 7:38 GMT

    I saw him play a state 20/20 game about 14 months ago when no one had heard of him. He was a total unknown to the crowd who were there to see phil hughes, warner and katich. Smith dropped a few catches and had an average game. My exact words were:

    "This will be the last we see of this guy. At this rate he'll go nowhere"

    He's certainly shut me up! Now i love watching him play. Go Smithy do proud! Let's hope I'm never asked to be a selector. I've got no idea.