Australian skipper Steve Smith‘s prolific run with the bat continues as he reaches 1000 Test runs in a calendar year for the fourth consecutive year after getting to 112 runs driving one through the covers at WACA, an achievement previously held by his countrymen Matthew Hayden. The southpaw went past 1000 Test runs in five consecutive years from 2001 to 2005.

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In this four years, Smith has scored 1000 plus runs at an average of more than 60, which makes him the first player to do so. However, Hayden averaged 60 plus in the first three years of his five-year run, but in 2004 his average dropped to 43.19. Brian Lara and Kevin Pietersen are the only others to score 1000-plus runs at 50-plus averages in three successive years.

1000+ Runs and 50+ Averages in 3 or More Consecutive Years

BATSMEN YEARS
Steve Smith 2014, 2015, 2016, 2017
Matthew Hayden 2001, 2002, 2003
Kevin Pietersen 2006, 2007, 2008
Brian Lara 2003, 2004, 2005

Since the inception of 2014, Smith has registered 4699 runs at an average of 73.42, which included 20 hundred. This is the best among any batsmen over a four-year period. However, regarding runs scored in four successive calendar years, Smith is in the fifth spot, behind a pair of streaks by Ricky Ponting and Hayden during their pick times. Smith will get a maximum of three more innings to go in 2017, which gives him an opportunity to climb even higher up the list.

Most Test Runs in Four Consecutive Calendar Years

BATSMEN YEARS RUNS AVERAGE
Ricky Pointing 2003-06 5077 72.52
Matthew Hayden 2001-04 4986 61.55
Matthew Hayden 2002-05 4975 58.52
Ricky Pointing 2002-05 4808 68.68
Steve Smith 2014-17 4699 73.42

By averages over a four-year period, Smith currently averages 73.42, which is the best. Ponting averaged 72.52 in the 2003-06 period, while Kumar Sangakkara averaged 72.27 between 2007-10. Steve Waugh and Jacques Kallis are the others in the top five.

Highest Test Averages in Four Consecutive Years (Min 3000 Runs)

BATSMEN  YEARS   RUNS AVERAGE    100s
Steve Smith 2014-17 4699 73.42 20
Ricky Pointing 2003-06 5077 72.52 19
Kumara Sangakkara 2007-10 3180 72.27 12
Steve Waugh 1993-96 3064 71.25  8
Jacques Kallis 2004-07 4129 71.18 16

In terms of Test hundreds, no batsman has scored more than Smith’s 20 in a four-year span; Hayden and Ponting have 19 in four-year periods. Smith has already reached 22 Test centuries in his career in just 108 innings, which is third-fastest of all time, next only to Don Bradman (58 innings), and Sunil Gavaskar (101). Sachin Tendulkar achieved this feat in 114 innings.

Most Test 100s in a Four Year Period

 BATSMEN YEARS    100s
 Steve Smith 2014-17     20
 Matthew Hayden 2001-04     19
 Matthew Hayden 2002-05     19
 Ricky Pointing 2003-06     19

Smith average 73.42 since the beginning of 2014, which is the best by any batsman during this period, even with a 300-run cut-off. (132 batsmen qualify with this cut-off.) With a higher cut-off of 2000 runs, the top four are the most debated batsmen in the world currently.

Top Test Averages Since 2014 (Min 2000 Runs)

BATSMEN MATCHES   RUNS AVERAGE   100s
Steve Smith 43 4699 73.42 19
Kane Williamson 34 3420 64.52 13
Virat Kohli 41 3761 58.76 15
Joe Root 48 4530 58.07 11
Azhar Ali 31 3048 54.42 10