There have been many bit hitters in cricket histoty. Ian Botham, Viv Richards, Tendulkar, Sehwag but the person who comes close to the legend of yesteryears is probably Afridi.
Jim Smith was immensely popular and his fans were in awe of his sheer power. And he believed in all-out attack.
Described a scribe:
"Smith was a fast bowler who was good enough to play five Tests for England, and although he did not make his county debut until 1934, by which time he was 27, in the six English seasons which preceded the Second World War he claimed 795 wickets at 18.52. His nickname, "Big Jim", was apt as he stood over 6ft 3ins tall and weighed in at 16 stone, but he was supremely fit and as strong as an ox.
In his eight seasons with Wiltshire between 1926 and 1933, Smith had proved a capable tailender. But as soon as he moved up to first-class cricket he realised that his limitations meant that against better bowlers he was unlikely to be able to do any more than hang around. So he adopted a different style.
Smith's metamorphosis was simple in the extreme. Planting one foot on either side of the crease, he limited himself to one simple shot, a scything swish. His stroke started with bat coming down in a line with third man and ended up following through towards mid-on. He treated every ball in the same way, and never even considered a defensive alternative. "If you were fielding near in and he missed the ball," wrote Gerald Brodribb, "you could feel the blast of displaced air." His footwork was non-existent, as evidenced by the fact he was never once stumped.
(To be continued)