Ashes 2021-22 | 'He will find the right answers' Ricky Ponting says about Steve Smith’s lean patch in the series
A file image of Steve Smith|
Ricky Ponting has said that Steve Smith will find the solution to his struggles in the batting as he scored just 244 runs from 8 innings at an average of 30.50 in Ashes. Ponting added that it is difficult to maintain the standards he has set for himself with his superb batting in last three years.
Australia won the recently concluded Ashes comfortably by 4-0 and outplayed their opponents in every department. Travis Head was the leading run-scorer in the series with 357 runs while Pat Cummins picked 21 wickets in four matches. For the hosts, Steve Smith managed to score just 244 runs at an average of 30.50. Reflecting on Smith’s numbers former Australia cricketer Ricky Ponting has said that the ace batter will find right answers behind his lean patch in the series and will bounce back.
"I know what he's like and he will look back at this even though Australia has won the series... he'll look back at his own game and break it down and ask himself those questions as to why things haven't worked out as much as he would have liked,” Ponting told cricket.com.au.
"He will come up with the right answers because the best players are the best problem solvers, and if he has got a problem... then he'll work it out pretty quickly."
Smith’s career average has dipped below 60 for the first time since 2017. He has amassed 7784 runs in 82 Test matches including 27 centuries and three half-centuries. Against England, he has scored 3044 runs in 32 matches against England with an impressive average of 59.68. Ponting said that it is not easy to maintain the set of high standards for a long duration which he has set for himself in recent years.
"The standards that he'd set himself for so long, for that three - or four-year period where he took batting to another level, to try and maintain that for four or five or six years no-one's ever done it, and no-one will probably ever do it," he explained.
"You're going to have your ups and downs and if he's averaging (in the thirties) in Australia on the back of a couple of lean years, most other batsmen would take that."
Ponting also added that during Smith's best years he used to score most runs for the team but now other batsmen are also contributing with the bat.
"The other interesting dynamic with (Smith) is the Marnus factor and even other guys that have come in and have dominated like he did. There are other guys that are helping out now,” he concluded.
"There's lots of things that we can probably think about and ask questions about, but it's not going to be long (before Smith bounces back)."