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Ashes 2017: David Lloyd likens Australia captain Steve Smith to England great Kevin Pietersen

David Lloyd likens Australia captain Steve Smith to England great Kevin Pietersen
Australia captain Steve Smith scored a superb century in Brisbane (Picture: Getty)

David Lloyd believes Steve Smith’s stunning rise for Australia mirrors that of former England batsman Kevin Pietersen.

Smith, 28, made his international debut in 2010 as a leg-spinner but has focused on batting in recent years and taken his game to extraordinary heights.

Scoring over 5,000 runs in 104 Test innings, Smith is undoubtedly one of the finest players of his generation and registered his 21st century in Australia’s first innings in Brisbane.

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‘Steve Smith’s ascent to becoming the best player in the world has followed a similar route to the one which Kevin Pietersen took,’ Bumble told the Daily Mail.

David Lloyd likens Australia captain Steve Smith to England great Kevin Pietersen
Ex-England star Kevin Pietersen with Shane Warne (Picture: Getty)

‘When he came into the Australian side seven years ago he was almost being touted as the new Shane Warne – he batted No 8 and bowled leg-spin, taking three wickets against Pakistan on debut.

‘KP was an off-spinner who came in down the order with Natal, of course – but both developed into world-class batsmen through natural cricket ability and nous.’

Smith took on the captaincy from Michael Clarke two years ago and averages over 70 as Australia skipper.

‘He has a hell of a lot to live up to because of the legacy of Australian captains – from the Chappell brothers to Steve Waugh to Mark Taylor, Ricky Ponting and Clarke,’ Lloyd added.

David Lloyd likens Australia captain Steve Smith to England great Kevin Pietersen
David Lloyd has been impressed by the Aussie skipper (Picture: Getty)

‘Steve Waugh was what I would call ‘hard’, Taylor was a tough competitor but one of the nicest people you could ever wish to meet away from the field, Ponting had a bit of mongrel in him while in my opinion Clarke tried to live up to a reputation.

‘For a while I thought Smith was aspiring to the tough-guy persona too despite it not being a natural fit. He is more a leader who is going to score a shedload of runs and look for his team to respond.’

After scoring a century to put his side back on top at the Gabba, Smith told BT Sport: ‘We had to dig quite deep there, we were in a bit of trouble.

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‘It meant everything to dig deep, get through some difficult periods and then spend some time at the crease.

‘It was very pleasing because I try to lead from the front as much as I can. This is your team and you need to get your team in a good position.’

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