Former Australian captain Ricky Ponting has hailed Steve Smith as a genius after his double century gave Australia complete control of the 4th Ashes Test against England in Manchester. While the England team are grappling to figure out a way to dismiss Smith, Ponting, who has worked closely with the right-hander, has said that there is a way to dismiss him.
Ever since he has made his comeback from the ban, the right-hander has been in irrepressible form. In the ongoing Ashes, he has scored at an average of 147.25 and has been the difference between the two sides.
'Does not make any mistakes'
"You hear all sorts of words, 'genius' is one that comes to mind," Ponting told cricket.com.au when asked to sum up Smith's knock, which put Australia in a dominant position after two days.
"A remarkable innings again. It's his application to what he does. He just doesn't make any mistakes. His concentration levels are obviously unbelievably good."
Despite working closely with Smith and despite being one of the sharpest minds in cricket, Ponting did not quite nail down one option to get the right-hander out. He said that the best way to dismiss him was to challenge the outside half of the bat as he always hits the ball when it is aimed at his pads or stumps.
"He's only been out nine times lbw in his last 99 innings, so you know if you're bowling straight you're not going to get him out. The one thing you have to do is try and challenge the outside of his bat. He doesn't miss it on the inside," he said.
England tried the short ball approach in Machester, but that did not deter the former captain and after bossing proceedings he did say at the end of the day that England played into hands by bowling it short to him.
"I said before the game that if they bowl a lot at my head then they're not bowling at my stumps and trying to get me out lbw and caught behind the wicket. For them to go as short as they did and as early as they did with the new-ball, softened that ball up and played into our hands," he explained.
Ponting also pointed out that only Bradman had scored more centuries and double centuries against England, and only Bradman had a higher batting average (99.94) than Smith's current 64.64 and this underlines the impact of the right-hander.