Australian batsman Steven Smith is on the verge of breaking an age-old record when Australia hosts Pakistan in Brisbane for the first Test of the two-match series on Thursday
Smith is coming off an astounding Ashes series in England where he amassed 774 runs from seven innings at an extraordinary average of 110.57. His exploits helped Australia retain the Ashes, despite middling performances from the rest of the batsmen.
The former Australian skipper has accounted for 6973 Test runs from 68 matches and 124 innings. He is just 27 runs short of becoming the fastest batsman to reach 7000 Test runs.
The existing record is held by the late Wally Hammond of England. Hammond, who has held the record since August 17, 1946 required 80 matches and 131 innings to reach the landmark.
Smith was a nightmare for the English bowlers during the Ashes, and made his return from the ball-tampering scandal one to remember by scoring twin tons to help Australia win the first Test, before bettering that by scoring a magnificent double-ton in Manchester - his third against England.
England skipper Joe Root was so impressed by Smith's knocks that he admitted Steven Smith was the difference between the two sides. "Take Steve Smith out and it would be very similar from both teams," Root said, during the series.
Smith will be expected to break the record when Australia play an inexperienced Pakistan side led by Azhar Ali on Thursday.
The match will also be Pakistan’s first in the World Test Championship campaign.