Steven Smith scored 604 runs in The Ashes © Getty Images
Steven Smith scored 604 runs in The Ashes © Getty Images

Steven Smith has been in an impeccable form recently, scoring 604 runs in The Ashes and Steve Waugh believes this form has put extra pressure on England’s Joe Root. Root has scored 237 runs in this season of The Ashes, which includes three half-centuries. Smith, on the other hand, has scored one half-century, two centuries and a double-century, emerging as the better captain of the two as far as personal performance is concerned.

“[Smith] puts a lot of pressure on the opposition captain because of what he’s doing. I’m sure Joe Root is saying, ‘If he’s getting those runs I have really got to get them for my team’. And when Joe Root’s missed out a couple of times it keeps putting more and more pressure on him. [Smith] does have a big influence on the outcome of the series not just because he’s scoring runs but because but the opposition captain feels he has to keep up with him,” Waugh told cricket.com.au.

Waugh took the opportunity to praise Smith for the brilliant performance. “He’s been incredible. He goes from strength to strength and whenever someone doubts him he comes out the next day and proves them wrong. He’s very adaptable and he learns quickly. He’s a really unique sort of batsman. He almost taunts the bowlers. I liken him to a matador in a bullring. He’s got that red rag out there and waving the bowlers to come and bowl here and then all of a sudden he’ll make it disappear and get them to bowl somewhere else. He really does frustrate the bowlers and tricks them into bowling to him where he wants the ball to come,” he said.