Steve Smith: Stats and Career | From a Leg Spinner to a Batting Great

It’s the Fab Four - Steve Smith, Kane Williamson, Joe Root and Virat Kohli—who are the flag bearers of modern cricket across the globe. They are the face of cricket and are regarded as the greatest players of modern cricket. Virat Kohli has put up unbreakable records and is without a doubt one of the greatest batsmen of all time. Joe Root and Kane Williamson have been instrumental for their national teams, England and New Zealand, respectively. But the story about Steve Smith is different. He’s one of a kind, starting as a pure leg spinner in his initial days to becoming one of the greatest modern day batters in test cricket

Steve Smith celebrates a century in a test match
Credit: The Cricketer

In this article by ZAP, we’ll dive deep and know more about Steve Smith, one of the greatest batsmen in modern times, his career, his stats and records and how a young leg spinner evolved into one of the greatest batters in cricket history

Steve Smith - Early days, age and domestic cricket career

Steve Smith was born on June 2, 1989 in New South Wales, Australia, and is currently 35 years old. Smith attended Menai High School but dopped out at an age of 17 to play club cricket for Sevenoaks Vine in the Kent Cricket League in England. 

Also Read: County Cricket

Initially seen as a very versatile player who could be a quality frontline leg spin bowler and also bat well in the lower order, he was selected for the 2008 U19 Cricket World Cup, representing Australia in Malaysia. He took 7 wickets, scoring 114 runs in the entire tournament. He made his first class cricket debut for New South Wales in the same year. 

Smith also shone in T20 cricket. He debuted in the KFC Big Bash League for New South Wales in 2008, becoming the leading wicket-taker in the tournament.

Steve Smith - International Cricket Debut and Career

A young Steve Smith bowling leg spin for Australia
Credit: The Sydney Morning Herald

With consistent performances on the domestic circuit, Smith got his maiden call to debut for Australia on 5th February, 2010 against Pakistan in a T20I match. Later, on 19th February, 2010 he made his ODI debut against West Indies

Smith then moved into Test cricket, where he was first chosen for his spin bowling skills. However, during the 2010–11 Ashes series, his batting abilities began to stand out, leading to a greater focus on his role as a batsman. After a two-year break from Test cricket, Smith made a strong comeback in 2013, contributing significantly in the series against India and scoring his first Test century during the 2013–14 Ashes. His consistent performance continued in South Africa and in the home series against India in 2014–15, where he notched up centuries in all four Tests. Smith's shone brilliantly with the bat in the 2015 Cricket World Cup, where he scored 402 runs, including a crucial semi-final century against India and an unbeaten 58 in the final, helping Australia to victory. His successful tour of the West Indies in 2015 saw him achieving the number one ICC Test batsman ranking. Smith's career evolution from a bowler to a key batsman and leader for Australia is remarkable.

Steve Smith - Australian Cricket Team Captain

During the 2015 Ashes series in England, Steve Smith demonstrated his exceptional batting ability. He started with a double century at Lord's, which was his highest Test score at the time. Although his performance dipped in the third and fourth Tests, affecting Australia's overall performance, Smith finished the series strongly with a score of 143 runs in the final Test at The Oval. Despite England winning the series 3-2, Smith emerged as the top run-scorer with 508 runs at an average of 56.44. After Australia’s loss in the series and Michael Clarke’s retirement, Steve Smith was appointed as the full time captain of the Australian Cricket Team for Test matches. David Warner was appointed as the Vice Captain. 

Steve Smith - The Ball Tampering Incident and Ban

Steve Smith Crying in a press conference talking about the ball tampering incident
Credit: NDTV Sports

In 2018, a major controversy erupted during Australia's tour of South Africa. Australian batsman, Cameron Bancroft was caught using sandpaper to alter the condition of the ball during the third Test. Smith admitted to being part of the "leadership group" that had discussed the plan to tamper with the leather ball. This led to Smith and vice-captain David Warner stepping down from their roles. Smith was subsequently banned for one test and fined his entire match fee. Following an investigation by Cricket Australia, Smith received a 12-month suspension from all forms of cricket and an additional year-long ban from leadership positions. His contract with the Rajasthan Royals for the IPL was also terminated. Upon returning to Australia, Smith held a tearful press conference, taking full responsibility for his actions and apologising to fans and his family.

Steve Smith Stats - Runs and Centuries






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Steve Smith has proven to be one of the most versatile and accomplished batsmen in modern cricket, showcasing his skills across all formats of the game. In Test cricket, he has played 109 matches, scoring 9685 runs at an impressive batting average of 56.97. His highest score in this format is 239, and he has scored 32 centuries and 41 half-centuries, maintaining a strike rate of 53.50.

In One Day Internationals (ODIs), Smith has played in 158 matches, scoring 5446 runs with an average of 43.91. He has hit 12 centuries and 33 half-centuries, with a highest score of 164, and a commendable strike rate of 87.41.

In the T20 International (T20I) format, Smith has played 67 matches, accumulating 1094 runs with an average of 24.86.

Overall, across all formats, Steve Smith has played a total of 334 matches, scoring 16225 runs. He has a total of 44 centuries and 79 half-centuries, with his highest score being 239. His combined batting average across all formats stands at an impressive 48.62, and his overall strike rate is 66.63.

Steve Smith’s IPL Career - Teams, Runs and Stats

Steve Smith raises his bat to celebrate a century in the IPL
Credit: NDTV Sports

Since 2010, Smith has played for a number of franchises in the IPL. He was picked up by the Royal Challengers Bangalore for the 2010 season. Next year, in 2011, it was Kochi Tuskers Kerala who got Smith for $200,000. However, he didn’t feature in any match due to an ankle injury. 

In 2012-13, Pune Warriors bought him as a replacement for Mitchell Marsh. In 2014, Smith was bought by Rajasthan Royals for $600,000. He became the captain of the Royals in the second half of the 2015 season, leading them to the playoffs.

During the 2016 IPL Auction, Smith joined the new team, the Rising Pune Supergiants. After initially struggling with form, he came back to score his first T20 century with 101 off 54 balls against the Gujarat Lions. However, a wrist injury ruled him out for the rest of the tournament.

Next year, Pune announced Smith as the captain over MS Dhoni. Under his leadership, the team had a strong run, winning 8 out of 10 matches and making it to the final, where they narrowly lost to Mumbai Indians. Smith was the team's highest run-scorer that season, with 472 runs at an average of 39.33, including three fifties.

What makes Steve Smith so special - Batting Style and Fielding

Steve Smith plays a ramp shot
Credit: Medium

Steve Smith has a very unique and unorthodox batting style. His batting technique involves a lot of foot movement and fidgeting at the crease, which can unsettle bowlers. Despite people initially doubting his technique, Smith has proven himself with exceptional hand-eye coordination and a strong focus, especially evident in his ability to counter spin bowling with precise footwork. 

Steve Smith is one of the greatest batsmen ever, no doubt. But his fielding ability is just as great and he is one of the best fielders in cricket history. With exceptionally quick reflexes, his best comes out when he’s positioned at the slips. If you’ve edged one behind and Steve Smith is in the slips fielding position, you’ll be better off walking without even looking to see whether he’s grabbed onto the catch, he’s that great of a fielder. Taking blinders and holding onto the easy ones, he’ll make all catches look super easy.  

Also Read: Cricket Fielding Techniques

Steve Smith - Records

Batting Records:

  • Smith holds the record for being the second-fastest batsman (after Kumar Sangakkara) and the fourth Australian overall to reach 9,000 runs in Test cricket.
  • He is the fastest Australian to reach 10,000 runs in international cricket.
  • He is the fastest Australian batsman to reach 14,000 runs in international cricket.
  • Smith achieved the fastest milestones of 7,000 and 8,000 Test runs.
  • His Test batting rating peaked at 947, the second-highest after Don Bradman's 961.
  • He was the second youngest batsman to top the ICC Test batting rankings.

Fielding Records:

  • Smith holds the record for the fastest player to take 300 catches in international cricket.
  • He has the highest catches per innings ratio for players with over 120 catches in international cricket.

Also Read: Most Catches in Cricket History


How many centuries has Steve Smith scored in his career?

Steve Smith has scored 32 centuries in Test Cricket and 12 hundreds in ODIs. Overall, he has scored a total of 44 centuries throughout his career.

What is Steve Smith's ICC Ranking in Test Matches?

As of June 2024, Steve Smith is ranked 5th in ICC Test Match Batsman Ranking. His highest ranking is 1 and with 947 points, the second-highest after Don Bradman's 961


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