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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 4027 115
2 New Zealand 2829 109
3 South Africa 2917 108
4 England 4366 104
5 Australia 3270 99
see more
Rank Team Points Rating
1 England 6745 125
2 India 7071 122
3 New Zealand 4837 112
4 Australia 5543 111
5 South Africa 5193 110
see more
Rank Team Points Rating
1 Pakistan 7365 283
2 England 4253 266
3 India 8411 263
4 Australia 5471 261
5 South Africa 4407 259
see more