Australian batsman Steve Smith plays a shot.
Australian batsman Steve Smith plays a shot. DAVID MARIUZ

Steve Smith: from No.9 to batting great

DON Bradman, Sunil Gavaskar, Everton Weekes and Leonard Hutton.

They are the only four men to have scored more runs in their first 47 Tests than Australian captain Steve Smith.

That's remarkable considering Smith started his career as a bowling all-rounder, batting at No.8 and No.9 in his first Test.

Smith will play his 50th Test at the SCG just after the new year. If he racks up another 372 runs by the end of that Test he will have scored the third most runs of any player in their first 50 matches, usurping Hutton.

Smith currently has 4311 runs to his name.

At the same stage of their careers in terms of Tests played, Bradman had scored a scarcely believable 6488 at 102.98, Gavaskar 4534 at 55.98, Weekes 4395 at 59.39 and Hutton 4314 at 56.76.

Remarkably, Smith is followed on the list by teammate David Warner, who plundered 4305 runs in his first 47 Tests at an average of 50.65.

Smith's numbers leave those of his contemporaries in the shade. Indian super bat Virat Kohli made 3326 runs and New Zealand's Kane Williamson 3933 in their first 47 Tests, respectively.

AB de Villiers (3127) and Hashim Amla (3581) were also in the 3000s while Joe Root had only just entered the 4000s (4046).

For the record, Sachin Tendulkar had 3284.

But it's not just because Smith is getting more knocks.

His average isn't just healthy, it's obese at 57.48 and the 10th best of any player at the 47-Test-mark in their career, sandwiched between Matthew Hayden (57.96) and Hutton (56.76).

If the 27-year-old can lift that average by just over a run he can move past Viv Richards (58.50) for the fifth-best at the 50-Test mark.

TOP FIVE RUN SCORERS IN FIRST 50 TESTS

Don Bradman 6790 @ 99.85

Sunil Gavaskar 4947 runs @ 57.52

Len Hutton 4682 @ 59.27

Jack Hobbs 4596 @ 61.28

Matthew Hayden 4488 @ 58.29

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