Former Australia skipper Ricky Ponting reckons that Steve Smith deserves to go down as one of the greats of the game, after Smith’s 211-run effort against England on day two of the 4th Ashes Test at Old Trafford, Manchester on Thursday.

Hailing the 30 year-old as a genius, Ponting said Smith’s concentration skills are unbelievably good. “You hear all sorts of words, ‘genius’ is one that comes to mind,” Ponting told cricket.com.au. “A remarkable innings again today. It’s his application to what he does. He just doesn’t make any mistakes. His concentration levels are obviously unbelievably good.

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With his 26th Test century, Smith went past Virat Kohli in the tally of most hundreds in the format and now is only second behind Sir Don Bradman in terms of Australian players with most Ashes centuries and player with the best Test average with 64.64, behind Bradman’s 99.94. Ponting made the comparison saying if Smith has been so good, imagine how good would Bradman would have been.

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“Even what Smithy is doing now is remarkable, to think how good Bradman must have been to be a third again better than what Steve Smith’s doing at the moment is ridiculous,” he said.

Australia’s leading run-getter in Tests also believes that id Smith can continue playing for another five-six years, he will have all sorts of records to his name.

“If he keeps playing and plays as much as we think he can play, he’s in his early thirties now, he’s got four, five, six years of good cricket ahead of him, which if you add it up that’s probably another 80, 90 Test matches.

“Then he’s played 150 games and could have all sorts of numbers and records by then and let’s hope he does, because the way he’s going about it now, the way he’s playing he deserves to get the rewards from that.

“You don’t always get those things in life but what he’s doing he deserves to go down as one of the greats,” added Ponting.