Australia coach Justin Langer believes that Steve Smith’s epic display in the first 2019 Ashes Test at Edgbaston is on a different level to anything he has seen in the past from India star Virat Kohli.
Smith marked a glorious return to Test cricket after a one-year suspension with twin tons at Birmingham to help Australia thrash hosts England by 251 runs. The right-hander rescued his side from perilous positions in both innings of the Test to set up the big win and has been drawing in the accolades from all quarters ever since.
Langer had hailed Kohli as the best batsman in the world following his displays Down Under towards the end of last year which helped India record their first ever Test series win on Australian soil.
“I said during the summer that Virat Kohli is the best player I have ever seen but that (Smith’s knocks) is just another level,” the Australia head coach stated.
“You have in different teams, different eras, great players but for someone like Smudge (Smith), who is averaging over 60 and the way he played in this innings with all the pressure and everything that is on him, it was not only great skill but enormous character, enormous courage, very brave, unbelievable concentration, unbelievable physical stamina, unbelievable mental stamina, all traits of great players.”
The former Australia opening batsman has termed Smith as the best ‘problem solver’ in the game after his knocks of 144 and 142 at Edgbaston.
“You throw to him in the nets and you literally feel like you can’t get him out and there’s no batsman like that and you just end up throwing a million balls and you are just lost for answer,” said Langer.
“I guess you would have to ask England how they feel about that and they had some interesting tactics for him.
“They had the really short point which I had never seen before, they obviously had a tactic they prepared and Trevor Bayliss has seen a lot of Steve Smith since he was a kid. They would have studied him closely but he just has a knack, well, he is the best problem-solver in the game.”
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