Playing his first Test after the Sandpaper Gate fiasco in Cape Town in 2018, former Australia skipper Steve Smith stunned all when he hit a century in the first innings of the opening Ashes Test against England in Birmingham. What made it all the more impressive was how he single-handedly put Australia in a position of strength. He followed that up with another century in the second innings as the Aussies took a 1-0 lead in the coveted series.
Speaking on what makes Smith special, skipper Tim Paine said: "Steve Smith averages over 60 in Test cricket, so I think the beauty of Steve is you can come up with a plan but he's good enough to adapt really quickly.
"I've seen him do it between balls, I've seen him do it when guys have targeted him from one end a certain way and a completely different way from the other end. I think that's what makes him the best player in the world, his ability to adapt to any plan that is thrown at him. I think he processes it quicker than other players and adapts on the spot."
Former Australia skipper Steve Waugh went a step further and said that Smith has the ability to read the opposition and their tactics and that helps him in trying situations.
"He knows the opposition, what they're trying to do, how they're trying to get him out and he seems to have an answer for everything," Waugh told Wide World of Sports during the first Test.
"He's an incredible player. I don't think I've ever seen anyone quite like him and his appetite for runs is second to none. His technique is amazing, it's unique, but he knows what he's doing, he knows how to score runs. It's like he analyses every ball, and it's like a computer -- he spits out the answer."