Was Steve Smith’s ‘Brain Fade’ Moment A Convenient Afterthought

Several years ago, the unforgettable second test match took place. In this match, India staged a brilliant comeback, beating Australia by 75 runs despite an initial 87-run deficit. But this glorious victory was overshadowed by a controversial event involving Australian captain Steve Smith, known as the 'brain fade' incident. After an LBW decision, Steve Smith engaged in a heated exchange with Peter Handscomb before turning his gaze to the dressing room, presumably seeking advice on using their last referral.

The Indian captain, Virat Kohli, reacted strongly to this act, accusing the Australian team of overstepping boundaries. Despite the Australian cricket management's efforts to downplay the incident as unintentional, it sparked speculation about potential malicious intent.

Reactions from Cricket Australia

At the time, James Sutherland, Cricket Australia's chief executive, had vehemently dismissed Indian captain Virat Kohli's allegations about the Australian team's dressing room tactics as outrageous. Coach Darren Lehmann had argued that Australia always played cricket in the 'right way.' Looking back, it's evident that every team prefers to play cricket in their style, as Sutherland and Lehmann advocated. 

However, the video evidence from that day painted a slightly different picture, one that Steve Smith could only attribute to a 'brain fade', to avoid the risk of the entire Australian team being branded as cheats in the sport renowned as the gentleman's game. 

The Ripple Effects of the Incident

The controversy deepened with David Warner's LBW decision and a contentious tweet from Cricket Australia—his subsequent conversation with Handscomb concerning a potential referral stirred controversy. As the team's most influential batter, Steve Smith's presence on the field could have significantly altered the game's trajectory. However, Handscomb's uncertainty led him to suggest Steve Smith consult the dressing room for advice—a clear breach of the game's rules. This incident inevitably invited speculation about whether teams discuss such tactics during strategic meetings, further muddying the waters in this contentious episode.

Kohli was forthright in his accusations, stating he observed the Australians seeking guidance from their dressing room while at the crease on more than one occasion. These suspicions were further fueled when former Australian captain Michael Clarke expressed his concerns about Peter Handscomb, suggesting to captain Steve Smith that he seek assistance from their support staff. This incident sparked outrage among Kohli and his team, who deemed the Australian approach unsportsmanlike.

Steve Smith's Rise in Cricket

Sydney-born Steve Smith embarked on his first-class cricket career with New South Wales in 2008. By 2010, he had made his Test debut. He primarily served as a crucial spinner and number eight batsman.

During the 2010–2011 Ashes series, he was dropped. However, he made a strong comeback in 2013, proving his batting prowess with a score of 92 against India in Mohali.

Steve Smith hit his first Test century during a match against England at The Oval, scoring an unbeaten 138. He continued to shine in Australia's 5-0 home Ashes victory, scoring hundreds in both Perth and Sydney matches.

In the 2014–2015 India tour, while stepping in for the injured captain Clarke, Steve Smith solidified his position as the future captain of Australia. He achieved the remarkable feat of scoring centuries in all four Tests.

Steve Smith Stats

According to ESPNcricinfo, Steve Smith's Test batting average stands at 58.6. He has scored over 9,000 runs in 101 games. This includes 32 centuries and 37 half-centuries.

His highest score in a Test match is 239. These statistics not only highlight Smith's consistent performance but also his potential to be one of the all-time greats in cricket.

During the second test match between India and Australia, the brain fade' incident was a significant moment in cricket history. Despite the controversy, Steve Smith's cricket career trajectory has continued to rise. His remarkable stats emphasise his talents and potential, painting him as one of cricket's potential all-time greats.