“60 overs should feel like hell out there.” Virat Kohli‘s famous pep talk that sparked one of the most memorable performances by Indian seamers in England trickled back into the minds of cricket fans after Steve Smith‘s voice during the second Test against Pakistan in Melbourne went viral after Australia won the match. If Kohli’s fiery speech egged Jasprit Bumrah, Mohammed Siraj, Ishant Sharma and Mohammed Shami to bowl England out in just 51.5 overs in that Test match at Lord’s in 2021, Smith’s encouraging words and to-the-point suggestions gave Australia quick breakthroughs in Pakistan’s first innings.
“Go for the kill for the next 40 minutes,” Smith told captain Pat Cummins. What followed was a terrific spell of bowling Cummins. He first got rid of Abdullah Shafique with a brilliant return catch and then bowled an absolute cracker of a delivery nipped back and crashed into Babar Azam’s stumps. But before that, Smith offered a word of advice to Cummins asking him to go wide and then bring the ball back in as Babar was driving with a big gap between his bat and pad.
“Looked like a nice ball that, the old nip backer,” Smith told his teammates after the Pakistan stalwart was dismissed.
Smith was mic’d up for the large part of Pakistan’s first innings and every time there was a wicket or a partnership was building, he was at his best. When Pakistan captain Shan Masood got out trying to hit off-spinner Nathan Lyon over the top, Smith came up with a hilarious take. “I thought there was going to be a Mike Hussey there,” he said with a big smile.
Watch: Smith’s Kohli-like fiery speech sets social media on fire
Cummins bagged five wickets and 10 in the match to earn Australia a nail-biting 79-run win in the second Test and clinch the series against a battling Pakistan Friday.
Set 317 for victory, the visitors put up a stellar fight as they chased their first Test triumph in Australia since 1995.
But they were dismissed for 237, with the last five wickets falling for 18 runs.
Cummins was the chief destroyer, taking 5-49 to go with his first innings 5-48 — only the second 10-wicket haul of his Test career.
Cummins also become only the 10th player to claim 250 wickets or more for Australia.
The 30-year-old joins an illustrious list, headed by Shane Warne, and featuring fast bowlers Glenn McGrath and Dennis Lillie as well as current test players Nathan Lyon and Mitch Starc.
“It’s pretty special company being up there,” said Cummins, who now has 252 wickets in 57 test matches. “A real proud moment to see the names you’re up there alongside.
“Achievements in test cricket, the things that are most satisfying, is the longevity it takes to hit a few of those milestones, especially after missing a few years when I was a bit younger. It’s always a nice little reminder.”