Fascist Dictator of the Heath Davis Appreciation Society
Supporting Petone's Finest since the very start - Iain O'Brien
Adam Wheater - Another batsman off the Essex production line
Also Supporting the All Time #1 Batsman of All Time Ever - Jacques Kallis and the much maligned Peter Siddle.
Vimes tells it how it is:
If only Johnson Charles had a test match to his name.
Nice write up - used to amuse my old man to call him Calfdrey - it never brought a smile from anyone else, even when he started calling Graham Vealdrey, although I quite liked Bulldrey, which is how he used to refer to Lady Cowdrey – I dread to think what he’s have christened young Fabian - it never ceases to amaze me that when folk dream up a funny of their own, which is essentially awful, that they fly in the face of public opinion and carry on using it at every available opportunity for ever and a day
Number 10: Steve Smith
Highest Ranking 2
Total Points 13
Number of Votes Received 2/13
Ah. The dangers of taking such a long period of time to do something - a period of time so lengthy that if it became an SI unit, they would name it the "Cribb" - that the original topic almost becomes obsolete. The perils of procrastinating so long over doing something that the world moves on and what once had been so is no longer the case.
This, dear reader, is a tale of redemption.
Cast your mind back to those happier times. It was April 2012. Nelson Mandela was still alive. We were still discussing the merits of American intervention in the Middle East. People still complained that CricketWeb wasn’t what it used to be. And Burgey was marginally less grumpy than he is today. Plus ca change, plus ca meme chose you might choose to say if you were either a pretentious prig, or the sort of person who has a whimsical way with words so they can get away with such things.
Well, something has changed since then. Back in 2012, two erstwhile Kiwi contributors to CricketWeb voted Steve (as he was known back then) Smith as being in the top ten worst test cricketers of all time. This player, now named Steven Smith (at least according to Cricinfo and a multitude of Australian cricket commentators who seem to be labouring under the misapprehension that something becomes classy just by using a longer version of a name) currently averages a very respectable 40 with the bat in test cricket. He just played a starring role in wresting the Ashes back from a hapless England side, and even more impressively scored heavily against South Africa in their own back yard.
So, given this, why did he receive those nominations?
Well, in order to answer that question we have to cast our minds back still further – as far back as 2010.
Back then, it was still a relatively short time since the retirement of the self-proclaimed greatest spinner of all time, Shane Warne. Australia cast the net far and wide looking for a replacement – Bryce McGain, Jason Krejza, Michael Beer – the list was long. Steve Smith was one of those earmarked as a potential replacement. He bowled some leg spin, he seemed to have plenty of batting potential and a good healthy dose of chutzpah.
By the time of his debut test match – to be played at Lord’s versus Pakistan – he was only 21 years old and had played only 13 first class matches. He was coming off a storming 2009/10 season of Sheffield Shield cricket, however, where he’d compiled 772 runs at 77.2 and taken 21 wickets at a less healthy average of 44.38. He grew in form and stature as the season progressed – scoring 3 tons with the highlight being 177 off 247 balls versus Tasmania at the Bellerive Oval. It was this form that saw him called up for his first look at international Test cricket.
It’s fair to say that first series produced mixed results for the youngster. Dropped into the order at number 8, the traditional slot for the bowling all-rounder, he struggled against the wily spin of Danish Kaneria. Twice at Lord’s he was undone by the leggie’s top spinner – which would have been doubly disappointing for a rival leg spin bowler. With ball in hand, Smith had a little more success – 3 Pakistani batsmen threw away their wickets in the 2nd innings attempting to beat Smith out of the park.
The second Test at Headingley was different again. In the first innings, some marvellous bowling from Aamir and Asif saw the Australians dismissed for 88. Smith received an absolute jaffa from Aamir which swung in from outside off and bowled him through the gate. His 2nd innings knock demonstrated his potential, though. He came in at 217 – 6 with Australia barely 50 runs to the good. Batting with firstly Tim Paine and then the tail, he flayed the Pakistani attack around the ground, deploying attacking verve to good effect to plunder 77 from 100 balls. Another attacking shot saw his demise as last wicket to fall as he played a slower ball onto the stumps.
Australia lost that 2nd Test, but Smith had shown some promise.
His next involvement with the Australian team was in the ill-fated Ashes series of 2010/11.
Marcus North had been the preferred batting all-rounder at the Gabba and Adelaide Oval, but an almighty thrashing (by an innings and 71 runs) at Adelaide saw some swift changes in the team. Smith came in for North, Hughes replaced Katich through injury and Mitchell Johnson returned to replace the insipid Xavier Doherty.
In the three Test which followed, Smith’s one decent score was 54 not out in a losing cause at Sydney. It was the manner of some of his previous dismissals which was most disappointing – chopping on or being caught trying to force the pace against Jimmy Anderson 3 innings in a row across the MCG and SCG.
At the end of the series, he averaged a mere 28 with the bat and still had only those 3 wickets to show for his bowling at a cost of 220 runs.
That is the context within which the votes were cast against him. This just goes to show the underlying risk in attempting to judge a player based on their performances at 21/22 years of age on the toughest stage in cricket. He went away, worked on his batting – somewhat to the detriment of his bowling – and has become a key component of the Australian middle order.
Steven Smith, the People’s Champ, you are redeemed!
Career Highlight (at the time)
Australia are 187 for 6 at the SCG. Smith had Mitchell Johnson for company and then the tail. Jimmy Anderson is bowling well with his tail up and with great economy. What do you do? Attempt the massive off-drive with no foot movement and edge to the slips to strike a death blow to the Australian batting. Dropping a goober off your own bowling to help Ian Bell on his way to a ton in the same Test ranks pretty closely.
What they said about him
Phlegm explains his vote for Steve Smith
Originally Posted by flibbertyjibber
(For the record, it was Hurricane and Phlegm)
In the past two years, Steven Smith has gone from tenth-worst Test cricketer of all time to a vital middle-order Test batsman, playing a crucial role in Australia's home 5-0 Ashes win
Steven Smith is unfazed by reports he was the tenth-worst cricketer in history as of two years ago, instead preferring to focus on how ****ing good he is now
That Spikey quote is gold! What a bandwagoner.
"I am very happy and it will allow me to have lot more rice."
Eoin Morgan on being given a rice cooker for being Man of the Match in a Dhaka Premier Division game.
nah, the **** bowled Moz before Moran
Brad McNamara @bbuzzmc
Will say this once and then nothing else. Defamation laws quite clear in Aus.be careful.
I stand by my vote. Cricket is like ski jumping for me. I give out points for style of which Steve(n) Smith has none. Likewise if Marty Kain took 3 10fers in a row in the plunket shield I would not be calling for his inclusion in the black caps. I have also written off Hamish Bennett for similar reasons.
Oh god my Kayes post still fills me with joy. WASC.
2 years down, one third of the countdown completed. Should be done by 2018.
This thread certainly puts the BC's problems with Peter Fulton into some perspective
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