Steve Smith leaves Virat Kohli behind in golden year. Steve Smith’s exploits in 2017 has cemented his reputation as one of the best batsmen in the modern era.
After his 23rd century, and eighth against England, helped Australia draw the Boxing Day Test in Melbourne, some of the numbers make for staggering reading. In 11 Tests this year, Smith has 1,305 runs at an average of 76 and six centuries. For the fourth consecutive year, Smith has scored over 1,000 runs in a calendar year. After 60 Tests, he has 5,972 runs at an average of 63.55.
When one looks at the overall picture in 2017, it was a close tussle between Smith and Kohli with Root and Williamson left behind. Both batsmen’s fifty to hundred conversion rate was phenomenal. Both scored big hundreds. Kohli trumps over Smith when it comes to big scores, with three double centuries compared to one for Smith.
However, the Australian skipper’s consistency trumps Kohli. The Indian skipper went without a fifty-plus score for seven consecutive innings – five of them against the visiting Australia — while Smith’s lean patch was just three.
Overseas performances make him supreme again. In six Tests, Smith has 618 runs at an average of 56, including 499 runs in tough conditions in India (8 innings, 3 hundreds). On the other hand, India played only three Tests away from home this year, all in Sri Lanka. Kohli scored 161 runs, averaging 53.>