Rohit Sharma scored another ODI double hundred. Steve Smith is making the English look foolish in the on-going Ashes. First David Miller hit a 35 ball hundred in a T20 and then Rohit Sharma repeated the same feat. No, none of the above make it to my list of performance of the year.
For me, Fakhar Zaman’s match winning knock of 114 against India in the Final of the CT stands tall. As does the batting masterclass by Harmanpreet Kaur in the semi-final against Australia in the Women’s World Cup. I mean how does one hit 171* off 115 balls against one of the most accomplished sides, that too in a knockout match?
The top 2 contenders for me are Steve Smith’s century in Pune and Steve Smith’s century in Brisbane. Both those innings showed the range of Steve Smith’s batting, and he is easily one of best test batsman in world cricket right now. But If I have to pick one, the Pune innings has to be my favourite. For one, those runs were scored on a track, which assisted the spinners against a bowling attack which has two of the world’s best spinners. That whole innings was a masterclass on how to play spin and Steve Smith did it with ease.
Beating Smith’s ton on a raging turner at Pune and Fakhar Zaman’s expressive ton in the ICC CT final against India, my choice is Shai Hope’s defiant twin tons that paved the way for a West Indian win to level the series 1-1 in England. It was, in my opinion, the best batting performance of the year.
Steve Smith’s 109 vs India (Pune Test). Australia struggle in Asia - in fact, that statement is unfair because they don’t just struggle, they are clueless in Asia. Whitewashed by India, Pakistan & Sri Lanka in the recent past, when they toured India in 2017 no one, not even the staunchest Aussies, believed they could win a Test on the tour. They did so in the first Test at Pune thanks to Starc’s batting in the first innings & Smith’s masterclass in the second. He scored a magnificent 109 in Australia’s second innings and played Ashwin like no one has done in India before. This innings stamped his pedigree in any given condition & in the process Australia ended up winning a Test in Asia after all those humiliating defeats.