Australia's Steve Smith waves at the crowd as he leaves the field during the Ashes cricket test between England and Australia in Brisbane, Australia, Saturday, Nov. 25, 2017. (AP Photo/Tertius Pickard)
Australia's Steve Smith waves at the crowd as he leaves the field during the Ashes cricket test between England and Australia in Brisbane, Australia, Saturday, Nov. 25, 2017. (AP Photo/Tertius Pickard) Tertius Pickard

Greats come to bat for Smith as 'best ever'

THREE things in life are certain.

Death, taxes, and an Australian victory in a Gabba Test match.

And perhaps we should add 'Steve Smith to drag Australia out of a hole'. Because that is what he did, again.

As the Aussie skipper raised his bat to the vocal Gabba crowd and smacked his gloved hand over the Australian crest, I raised a question to all within earshot.

Could there be a better feeling in world sport?

As Australian captain, in the opening test of a home Ashes series at a fortress you have not lost at since the late-80s.

You watch as The Old Enemy eclipses 300 in the first innings.

Your opposite number has dialled up perfect plan after perfect plan to dismiss your top order.

Australia are floundering at 4-76 and you sense another wicket signals all but game over.

You enter the fray with the weight of a nation on your shoulders - and you deliver.

A tireless innings. 141 not out off 326 balls. The slowest century of your test career, and perhaps the best.

The Aussie skipper continues to stake a claim as the best batsman in the world, as he single-handedly dragged the home side back into the contest on day three.

It is not the first time and it certainly will not be the last.

Ricky Ponting thinks he could go on to become, at least statistically, the best bat to ever play the game.

That is a big call, but it is telling there has been little-to-no head shaking from those in the know.

Because even a Barmy Army die-hard, an hour removed from four days in the Aussie sun watching his country slip to 0-1 can appreciate the masterclass of Steve Smith.

KP caught with foot in his mouth

KEVIN Pietersen seems to lack some sense.

Fashion sense firstly, as evidenced by his weird trouser-shoe combination which even after public castigation he stuck with.

And no sense of place; to verbally tongue-lash Brisbane on day one and then double-down on his comments in the commentary box throughout the test match.

Shane Warne reckons his commentary offsider is secretly an admirer of Brisbane.

If that is true and KP is just trying to stir the pot then more power to him. But after his fashion faux pass, I am not so quick to assume the English great has an eye for the finer things.

I might be biased, but I'll take a Brisbane summer over a London winter every day.

Cricket family comes together for Hughes

THE fifth day of the Gabba Test signalled a 1-0 series advantage for Australia.

But it was also the third anniversary of the death of former Australian batsman Phillip Hughes.

Tributes flowed in across social media, and Australia wore black armbands embroidered with 'PH'.

David Warner moved from 60 to 63 not out and looked to the sky in tribute to his mate; 63 the score Hughes was on when he was struck by the bouncer which forced him into hospital.

As poignant as Warner's touching moment was, the soundtrack around the ground only added to the occasion.

The Barmy Army paid their respects to the late batsman, chanting 'there's only one Philip Hughes' to the tune of 'Winter Wonderland'.

There might not have been a great deal of cricket on day five, but there was a whole lot of love for Hughesy from the cricketing world.