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Steve Smith can only be compared to Bradman for brilliance, says Allan Border


Steve Smith's unrivalled consistency means he can only be compared with Don Bradman for sheer brilliance, according to former Australia captain Allan Border.

Steve Smith. Source: Photosport

Smith will play his first Test on home soil in 22 months on Thursday against Pakistan - returning as the undisputed best batsman in the world.

Off the back of one of the most dominant Ashes series in memory, Smith maintains the second highest Test average behind Bradman with 64.56.

Other records also lie ahead this summer.

He needs 17 runs in his next seven innings to be the fastest player to reach 7,000 Test runs.

According to Border, it's the right-hander's consistency and ability to avoid successive failures that sets him apart.

"Most people have that patch where everything goes wrong and they go through a trot," Border told AAP.

"I don't know if it happened to Bradman, but everyone else has had one.

"They always had a few Tests or a series where it just didn't work for them or you got the better of them.

"But Steven has just been incredible.

"Not just in the Ashes but his whole career.

"I've not quite (seen anyone else do it)."

The numbers stack up for Smith.

He has averaged less than 40 in a series just twice since his breakthrough century for Australia at the end of the 2013 Ashes.

He is still to go more than two Tests without scoring a half century for Australia, dating back to his debut as a legspinner against Pakistan in 2010.

No other batsman in the game's history has played 20 or more Tests and achieved such a feat - even Bradman went three Tests without a 50 in the 1934 Ashes.

"Whether it happens to him or if he's just got that work ethic that will keep him going for 60-runs-an-innings average I don't know. It's incredible," Border said.

"In straight out numbers, yes (he's the best since Bradman)."

Remarkably, Border still attributes Smith's brilliance to his technique.

The 30-year-old is renowned for having one of the strangest techniques in world cricket, with his fidgeting quirks and odd positioning.

But Border insists that, if you were to snapshot the point Smith makes contact with the ball, his technique is near perfect.

"From what I understand, Bradman's technique wasn't one you would coach a kid either," Border said.

"He just had a special way of doing things.

"And Smith is exactly the same.

"His balance when he hits the ball is really good and his hand-eye coordination is just extraordinary.

"He knows what to leave and play at.

"So many batsmen you see fall over when the ball does something or nips back at you.

"You never see him do that.

"He's just found this way of doing it.

"Yes there are moving parts but when he's hitting the ball he's in a really good position."