Get the app

Ashes 2019: Steve Smith is 'Best Player I've Seen', Says Australia Captain Tim Paine

The home side, set a huge second-innings target of 383 to win, were bowled out for 197, putting Australia 2-1 up in the five-Test series ahead of next week's finale at the Oval.

AFP |September 10, 2019, 7:47 PM IST
Ashes 2019: Steve Smith is 'Best Player I've Seen', Says Australia Captain Tim Paine

Australia captain Tim Paine hailed Steve Smith as the best player he has ever seen after the star batsman picked up the man-of-the match award following victory in the fourth Test against England on Sunday.

The home side, set a huge second-innings target of 383 to win, were bowled out for 197, putting Australia 2-1 up in the five-Test series ahead of next week's finale at the Oval.

The result means current holders Australia retain the Ashes regardless of the result in the final match of the series.

Smith scored 211 and 82 in the game to take his tally for the series to an astonishing 671 runs at an average innings of 134.2, including three hundreds, despite missing England's one-wicket win in the third Test at Headingley with concussion.

"I'm not sure I have ever played better," Smith told Sky Sports. "I have enjoyed my time in the middle. I have come back fresh from a year out, but relaxed and chilled out. I want to be the one in the middle doing my job for the team as I don't particularly enjoy watching cricket."

Paine said: "Steve is the best player I have ever seen. He showed that again in this Test match. He knows the game so well and reads it so well."

Australia coach Justin Langer also hailed Smith, who tops the global Test batting rankings after returning from a 12-month ball-tampering ban.

"We've got the best fast bowler in the world (Pat Cummins) and the best Test batsman in the world," he told Sky Sports.

"I thought Virat Kohli was the best batsman I've ever seen because of the way he plays in all forms, but Steve Smith... That's another level.

"He's a great problem-solver. His hunger for the game, I've never seen anything like it."

Team Rankings

Rank Team Points Rating
1 India 5211 116
2 New Zealand 3959 110
3 Australia 4320 108
4 England 5253 105
5 South Africa 3537 98
see more
Rank Team Points Rating
1 England 6967 124
2 India 7939 118
3 New Zealand 5347 116
4 South Africa 5602 112
5 Australia 5915 110
see more
Rank Team Points Rating
1 Pakistan 8926 270
2 Australia 7815 269
3 England 6407 267
4 India 12141 264
5 South Africa 6220 259
see more