Steve Smith
Steve Smith celebrates his century at the Gabba during the opening Ashes Test against England.Reuters

Australian legends continue to sing praises of captain Steve Smith. The right-hander has been in the limelight since his 21st Test century (141 not out) in Brisbane in the Ashes series opener last week.

First it was Ricky Ponting, who declared that 28-year-old Smith was the number one batsman in the world in Test cricket. Later, other Australian greats like Allan Border and Chappell brothers - Ian and Greg too were effusive in their praises for the right-hander.

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Ponting had even backed Smith to break his Australian record of 41 Test centuries. He had said his record is in "danger".

"Hopefully it's in danger (41 centuries record), I'd love to see that. If he keeps going like he is, he's going to catch me in four or five years. It's well and truly in danger," Ponting had said.

Now, former skipper Steve Waugh has joined the chorus. Waugh, who had held the record for most Test appearances by an Australian with 168 caps (later equalled by Ponting), said Smith will "rewrite the history books".

"He's almost going to rewrite the history books the way he is playing, 21 centuries in 57 Tests – and he didn't do so well in his first 10 or so," Waugh said in Sydney, as quoted by Cricket Australia's (CA) website on Friday (December 1).

52-year-old Waugh, who captained Ponting and played against Indian batting legend Sachin Tendulkar, compared Smith to the duo.

"He's got an insatiable appetite for runs, a bit like (Sachin) Tendulkar and Ponting. The great players just want to keep scoring runs, they love batting and that's what he does well.

"He concentrates well, overcomes plans well and just when you think you've got him in a weak moment he'll find a way out of it," he added.

Smith, who made his Test debut against Pakistan at Lord's in 2010, has so far accumulated 5,511 runs in 57 Tests at an impressive average of 61.23. In 103 ODIs, he has 3,329 runs. He is the current number one Test batsman in the world as per International Cricket Council's (ICC) rankings.

Australia lead the five-Test Ashes series 1-0 after winning the opening contest at Gabba and will be back on field for the second, in the day-night match in Adelaide from tomorrow (December 2).