Steve Smith showed why he is arguably the best Test batsman of this generation as he played a splendid knock against arch-rivals England in the second Test match at Lord's. The former skipper had scored a century each in both innings of the previous game as Australia registered a mammoth 251-run win and drew first blood. Smith walked in to bat at 11/1 when opener David Warner was dismissed cheaply and was then involved in a 49-run second-wicket stand with Colin Bancroft. The swashbuckling batsman stood like a wall when odds were against his side i.e. when wickets were falling at the other end. His patience bore fruits as he scored yet another half-century. This was Smith's 25th Test fifty.
Just when it looked like he would take his side to a commanding position and also save the Test match, his stay at the crease was cut short. No, he was not dismissed but here's what had actually happened.
Steve Smith was all set for a big score as he was going really well. However, on the individual score of 80, he was forced to retire hurt after a lethal bouncer from his Rajasthan Royals team-mate Jofra Archer in the 71st over. The English players rushed towards him as soon as he went down after being hit on the top of the neck by Archer's 92.4mph delivery. The ex-captain was on his feet after receiving medical treatment but decided to leave the field for further assessment. The Aussie batsman showed great bravery and determination after being struck on the elbow by the Barbadian pacer earlier.
According to the reports of a sports analyst, Jofra Archer's average speed in that last over was 149.34kph or 92.79mph which is the fastest over by an English Test bowler where data is available.
Here's how Smith's stay in the middle came to an end for the moment:
The fans showed their sympathy towards the batsman and also wished him a speedy recovery.
England Cricket posted a video of the fans applauding Smith as he walked back to the pavilion after soldiering on for the Aussies.