Steve Smith is making up for lost time after spending a year on the sidelines bombing T20 attacks around the world, but the man who shadow bats in his hotel room at 6am, working into a lather of sweat as he agonises over foot work, weight displacement during stroke making is back where he belongs, where he shines, plundering red ball attacks the world over.
By Aaron Callaghan
Co-Founder - The Unsportsmen
I write this post to investigate an entertaining question - which movie and TV character best describes Steve Smith?
I wonder if Steve Smith even watches movies? I imagine Smith’s TV viewing is limited to Australian Ninja Warrior and historic cricket matches on ‘Kayo Classics’.
Consider this hypothetical, it’s Satuday night, he’s unwinding on the couch with his wife Dani - What are they watching? Does Dani pick the movie or show because Steve hasn’t heard of any of the actors or the movies. They settle into a romantic-comedy, Steve’s on the edge of the couch and Dani hears a rustling next to the couch, she can’t see what it is but asks Steve;
“What’s that noise?” inquires Dani
”Nothing” replies Steve.
But the rustling keeps up every minute or so. Finally Dani gets up and looks over the edge of the couch. Steve is reading old ‘Inside Cricket’ magazine from the late 90’s he bought 10 of them on eBay for $13, he’s flicking through articles about the 1996 World Cup, he reads Steve Waugh’s 97/98 Ashes Diary and gleans with excitement at the 90’s cricket bats and on-trend speed dealer sunglasses that Mark Waugh used to bowl in.
I write this in jest but I wonder how far from the truth it is.
It is time to pontificate about which movie or TV character best represents Steve Smith, both as a person and his on-field persona. I have shortlisted 5 characters - If you have any other ideas, please leave a comment below.
The T-800 Run Scoring Machine
If we were to be completely honest with ourselves, would it surprise anyone to hear Steve Smith was actually a cricketing cyborg sent back from the future to rescue the precarious state of Australian and world cricket from the impending D-Day clash of red and white ball cricket? Limited overs cricket is fueled by the money making conglomerate that rules half the planet in 2050 - The BCCI Corporation - and has taken over entirely and demanding T20 fixtures only. The small, but vocal resistance is dressed in whites and armed with brand new red Kookaburra’s.
James Bond : The Spy who plundered boundaries
The name is Smith, Steven Peter Deveraux Smith.
Seemingly an incongruous comparison, Bond and Smith. James Bond a British spy who moved with grace and ease, a way with words and the opposite sex and well… Bond is as British as the Queen and Big Ben. Here’s the case, Bond had a pistol, Smith has a willow blade. Men want to be him and Smith, like Bond does some of his best work in England.
Rocky Balboa : Unified World Champion of working into an innings
Like Rocky, Smith has had some tough times, the sort that tests your will and resolve before coming out the other end a champion. I like to think Smith works out like Rocky, I can imagine Smith running through the Sydney streets on a cold winter’s morning in full whites and a baggy green, he gets to the SCG steps, blasting to the top before practicing his century celebration. Instead of Balboa’s heavy bag work on meat carcases, Smith has an Albion cricket bag hanging in his shed filled with old gloves and pads, laying into the cricket bag until he can’t lift his arms.
John McClane : Hard Runs with a Vengeance
Talk about a sliding doors moment.
John McClane in the Nakatomi building could have chosen a different direction, made his way to the basement and driven our of there to get help. Similarly, Smith could have put a stop to Warner’ and Bancroft’s ball tampering intentions. John McClane chose to stay and fight and Smith is back and he is fighting, the comparison isn’t perfect but it’s close.
John McClane is a fixer, a rescuer and that is entirely befitting of Smith, who year after year has rescued Australia and has a nemesis like Hans Gruber in Faf Du Plessis.
Steve Smith is the absolute peak of his powers. Smith’s pair of 140’s in the first Ashes test at Edgbaston is a blue chip in his already impressive resume therefor I would like to think Smith isn’t human, he’s a cybernetic organism sent back from the future to plunder runs and save red ball cricket, to that end I would like to suggest Steve Smith is Arnold Schwarzenegger as the T-800, he sees bowlers deliveries as 1’s and 0’s, computing the inputs, a computer algorithm calculates the variables and plays a shot according to his cricketing microprocessors output.
Australia are up 1-nil, heading into the second test and Smith’s heroics papered over some batting foibles. If Australia are any chance to collect an Ashes victory in England, Smith must put the team on his cyborg back and push the English attack into a molten hot foundry.