Former Indian opener Gautam Gambhir was once again in awe of Steve Smith following his second consecutive ODI hundred against India in Sydney. The former Australian captain hammered both his centuries in 62 deliveries, leaving the Indian bowlers dazed and captain Virat Kohli out of ideas. Gautam Gambhir reckons that Steve Smith is not at all far from Virat Kohli when it comes to ODI cricket.
Steve Smith, who batted at number three on both the occasions, has unleashed brutal assaults on the Indian bowlers. The 31-year old has come to bat after the opening partnership has spent more than 20 overs at the crease and eased himself into the crease with risk-free shots. Smith, who scored his tenth ODI ton on Sunday, mustered his fifth against India as Australia amassed 389 in the second ODI.
Gautam Gambhir admitted that Steve Smith, was after all, correct about finding his hands. Gambhir believes it was a stellar effort to get a hundred in 18 overs and having come to play at the toughest place to bat, it was stunning to watch him bat that way. The New South Wales batsman’s 64-ball 104 contained 14 boundaries and two maximums, scored at a strike rate of 162.50.
“He’s found something against India which India hasn’t found any against Steve Smith, to be honest. He was absolutely correct that he has found his hands. But then he got his hundred in 18 overs and actually came into bat at the 20th over and reached three figures by the 38th over. In 18 overs, you get your own hundred. And that’s probably the toughest place to bat as well when the ball keeps turning, you’ve got two spinners and you got four fielders outside the circle,” Gambhir told ESPN Cricinfo.
Look at the impact Steve Smith has had in the last two games: Gautam Gambhir
Following Steve Smith’s blazing innings, Gautam Gambhir remained confident that he is not far from Virat Kohli in ODI cricket. While Virat Kohli widely regarded as one of the greatest in ODI cricket, the 38-year old acknowledges that getting a century in 18 overs in a 50-over game is no joke. Gambhir added that the impact Smith has had in this game is outstanding.
“This is pure class and is not far away from Virat Kohli. We keep talking about Virat Kohli as the best ODI batter in the world but Steve Smith is not that far. Getting a hundred in 18 overs and getting two back to back hundreds in 60 balls is no joke. Yes, Virat Kohli has better numbers but look at the impact Steve Smith has had in the last two games. Unbelievable,” he added.