Having broken into the Australian team in 2010, Steve Smith found it very tough to keep his place in the squad with his inconsistent spin bowling performances. He made his debut as an 18-year-old rookie leg spinner when Aussie cricket was not at its best and was going through a phase of transition.
Fast forward to 2013, Steve Smith had returned with a genuinely improved technique and most importantly - a good defence and shots against moving balls. The Ashes 2013 in England which otherwise was a debacle for Australia proved to be the point of no return for Smith the batsmen as he scored his maiden Test century in the final Test at the Oval. The Ashes was quickly followed by a return Ashes series Down Under where Smith impressed again with important and notable contributions with the bat when the team were in trouble.
The South Africa tour that followed the Ashes 2013-14 provided another feather to Smith’s cap as he partnered with Shaun Marsh to plummet bowling line up that included Dale Steyn, Vernon Philander and Morne Morkel. Series after series and matches after matches, Smith ended up consolidating his domination at the top of the rankings of ICC test batting.
A Test century against India on a Pune pitch that turned square from day one established his reputation of being a batsman for all pitches, conditions and against any bowling line up.
A career that was on a steep upward curve was halted by a poor decision of ball tampering taken under his watch against South Africa in 2018 saw him facing a ban for a year.
As the ban ended, Smith made a resounding comeback against his favourite opponent England in the Ashes 2019 virtually standing as a lone man between the English side and the coveted urn. He single handedly thwarted the bowling lineup of Stuart Broad, Jofra Archer and Chris Woakes. He ended up scoring a mammoth 774 runs from 4 matches he played with a bradmanesque average of 110.57.
In the IPL, Smith has not had a dominating run of form as he has had with the Australian side in Tests and ODIs. The 2017 season with the then Rising Pune Supergiant was the most successful season for Smith who scored 472 runs from 15 matches. Now, returning as the captain of the Rajasthan Royals, Smith has a lot riding on him as his experience of international cricket can provide another dimension of advantage to the team along with his dominating batting.