Ben Stokes praised his Australian rival, Steve Smith, as ‘Genius as well as Strange’!

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England’s star cricketer Ben Stokes praised his rival Australian cricketer and IPL teammate Steve Smith by saying that he is ‘A Genius as well as Strange’ as he hailed the title of the number one Test Batsman.

“He is still strange to play against and he is still strange to play with”, and the most appreciating thing about it is that he admits it”, quoted Ben Stokes. Ben Stokes said in a podcast by their IPL franchise Rajasthan Royals on Tuesday. “But if feel to be a genius you have to be a bit strange and you know that he is certainly both”, Ben Stokes said. “Personally I could not think about cricket in the way that he does all the time when it comes to batting. I could never be like that as he is. Obviously, he is on all the time but that’s why he averages 60-plus in Test cricket”.

The 30-year-old Smith averages over 62 in 73 test matches and improves to 65.11 when playing against rivals England. Steve Smith was the leading scorer in the 2019 Ashes in England which retained by Australia after the series finished on 2-2 with a whopping 774 runs in four matches.

“Even though he plays for Australia the biggest rivals of the decade England and Australia, you have just got to hold your hands up sometimes to players like that and go ‘yeah you are on a different level when it comes to batting”, said Ben Stokes, who scored 441 runs in just five matches during the series. “You have to be on a different level & give your best to be like those guys when it comes to batting”.

The all-rounder cricketer also praised Steve Smith for his performance in test matches, saying the five-day format is the ‘pinnacle’ for him and there is no room to tinker with it. The ICC council has floated the idea of four-day Test matches to deal with the cluttered cricket calendar, but the plan met with criticism from many cricketers within the game.