For some reason I’ve always thought Nathan Lyon was French.
Steve Smith already boasts a batting average of 104.5 and two man-of-the-match awards this summer, with teammate Glenn Maxwell declaring the in-form superstar is in “scary” form.
Smith’s two match-winning knocks have given Australia an unassailable lead in their three-match ODI series against India that ends in Canberra on Wednesday.
The gun batsman landed in Australia earlier this month after a patchy Indian Premier League campaign that was well below his lofty standards.
But Smith, who declared with glee last week he had “found” his hands, clicked into form while training in quarantine and has already reaped great rewards.
The rapid fashion in which Smith scored runs at the SCG was particularly notable, with each century coming from 62 balls.
Aaron Finch joked after the first one-dayer that Smith calls himself Barry Bonds when striking so many boundaries, a nod to the MLB home-run machine.
Smith, asked about his strike-rate on Sunday night, suggested he tried whacking the ball too hard in the IPL but is now hitting with “a bit more finesse”.
Maxwell was among many Australians in awe of Smith’s past two digs.
“It’s pretty special to watch,” Maxwell said.
“It’s looking pretty scary at the moment for opposition teams.
“He’s placing the ball as well as anyone would the world and when he puts the foot down, he goes hard.
“He’s still hitting the ball into gaps … he’s calculated and just looks like he’s got so much time.”
Smith dominated England last year then reverted to mere mortal status during his first home summer after a year-long ban, when Marnus Labuschagne punished Pakistan and New Zealand to become the golden boy of Australian cricket.
Smith’s strike-rate during the trans-Tasman Test series a year ago was a career-low 34 but he has since rediscovered his free-scoring ways.
“Smithy played out of his skin twice in a row. They’ve been two of the all-time knocks,” Finch said.
Smith was serving his year-long ban during India’s previous visit, when Virat Kohli delivered his nation their first Test series win in Australia.
But the 31-year-old has a knack of lifting for series against India, having scored seven Test tons and five ODI hundreds against them.