Steve Smith suffers shock career first in New Zealand thrashing

One of the more remarkable modern-day cricket stats is over after Steve Smith fell to a leg-side trap against New Zealand again in Perth.

Smith entered the Australian summer having never gone three consecutive Tests without scoring a half-century during his entire career.

No other batsman in the game's history who has averaged above 50 and has played 20 or more Tests has achieved such a feat.

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Even the great Sir Donald Bradman went three straight Tests without a half-century in the 1934 Ashes - the only time in his career.

He responded by cracking 304 and 244 in his next two innings.

Smith was starved of opportunities in the 2-0 series win over Pakistan, scoring four and 36 in his only two digs.

Steve Smith looks on during day four of the First Test against New Zealand. (Photo by Ryan Pierse/Getty Images)

It meant the pressure was on Smith to get back to his run-scoring ways in the day-night Test against NZ at Optus Stadium.

Smith scored a painstaking 43 off 164 balls in the first innings before falling to a leg trap trying to pull Neil Wagner.

And the 71-Test veteran was out for just 16 in the second dig when he pulled Wagner to square leg.

The run of three straight Tests without a half-century is a far cry from his Ashes heroics, when he plundered 774 runs at an average of 110.6.

NZ have a clear plan against Smith - bowl bouncers at his ribs and stack his leg side with fielders.

Other nations will no doubt mimic those plans when they next confront Smith.

Australia coach Justin Langer is confident Smith will come up with a solution to the leg-side traps.

"Like I've said many times, he's the best problem solver in the world, and it would just be a matter of time before he gets on top of that," Langer said.

STEVE SMITH'S SCORES THIS SUMMER:

4 v Pakistan in the first Test in Brisbane

36 v Pakistan in the second Test in Adelaide

43 & 16 v NZ in the first Test in Perth