When it comes to batting numbers and statistics in the game of cricket, the name Sir Donald Bradman of Australia is legendary. Bradman had an overall average of 99.94 and this number might never be overhauled. Against England in the Ashes contest, Bradman averaged 89 in 37 Tests. In the modern era, Australia's Steve Smith is currently in such form in Ashes contests that comparisons with Bradman are getting louder. Smith averages 62 currently in Tests while against England, he averages 60 with 10 centuries.
Taking 20 innings as the minimum qualification, Smith is currently second to Bradman with 62.96. No one either before and certainly not in the 70 years since Bradman played his last Test in 1948 has come close to that mark of nearly a 100 runs per innings in the format.
However, one player, who was part of Bradman's 'Invincibles' squad in 1948, has said one cannot compare as great players fit in any era.
Neil Harvey, who is currently 90 and averaged 48 in 79 Tests and was part of the side that won 34 matches in the 1948 tour said, "He (Smith) showed a lot of resolve -- he must've got a lot of heckling from the crowd (at Edgbaston), he just put his head down and made runs. He's a top player, that fella. He's a really top-class player. I think if you're a great player in any era you can fit in somewhere no matter who you're playing with or against. But I'm not one to compare people, you just can't do it. The game changes so much," Harvey said.
Mode of batting
Smith, who has scored five centuries in six matches, explained his method to batting and how he changed his stance in order to score runs more effectively.
"It's a big movement. But for me, it's about trying to minimise the ways that you get out. If guys get me out lbw, I say well played, congratulations but, if I nick one off, that's when I get upset at myself," Smith said.
Smith will be aiming to continue the domination when Australia square off against England in the second Ashes Test in Lord's on Wednesday. Tim Paine's side currently lead the series 1-0 after winning a Test in Edgbaston for the first time after 18 years.