Steve Smith, Virat Kohli, Kane Williamson and Joe Root are regarded as the gold standard batsmen. Like most players, they have strengths and Achilles heels and they have overcome difficult times and conditions. Australia Test and ODI captain Steve Smith began his international career as a spinning allrounder but soon became one of the fearsome Test batsmen of the current era. Smith’s ability has led to comparisons to Sir Don Bradman.
He has admitted that he tried to draw inspiration from counterparts, Virat Kohli, Kane Williamson and AB De Villiers. Smith has adopted a few of their techniques and modified them to suit his needs and improve his own game.
Smith has scored 6057 runs in 61 tests at an average of 63.76 and he revealed that he sometimes tried to mimic others while batting. He said, “I look at some of the best players around the world and sometimes I do try and bat like them. I just try and learn, and these guys are the best players in the world for a reason.”
While he isn’t exactly best friends with Kohli on-field, it hasn’t stopped the 28-year-old Australian from observing his counterpart tackling spin. His observations have paid rewarded him handsomely. During Australia’s 2017 tour of India, Smith was the top-scorer with 499 runs at 71.29 with three centuries. Smith said, “A little bit of Virat [Kohli] the way he plays spin, his hands and the way he hits the ball through the offside. Probably learnt a little bit out of that. I just try and learn. These guys are best players in the world for a reason. You try and get whatever you can out of them.”
Speaking about De Villiers’ influence on his game, Smith said, “I’ve copied a bit of what AB de Villiers does. The way I go back and across to open myself up and set myself for the shots. More so when the ball is reversing.”
Smith also said he has attempted the way Williamson’s plays a late dab that sends the ball racing past the slip cordon. “A few years ago I tried to bat like Kane Williamson and play the ball really late,” he reminisced.