Cricket fans could be forgiven for thinking that Steve Smith knows Aussie counterpart Pat Cummins pretty well.
However, during their duel in the Indian Premier League, Smith looked completely lost when batting against his Australia and NSW teammate.
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Cummins had already helped his Kolkata Knight Riders set Smith's Rajasthan Royals a victory target of 175 after contributing 12 runs with the bat.
He then had Smith all at sea when the Royals star came to the crease, with the incredible scenes leaving viewers shocked.
Smith started off well enough against his good mate Cummins, defending a well-pitched ball outside off stump in the second over of the innings.
The Aussie star's composure went out the window after that point, however, as a fierce spell from Cummins left the 31-year-old at sixes and sevens.
Smith swung at thin air after trying to slog the next delivery over mid-on, before almost edging behind off an awkward follow-up ball.
He then skied a mistimed drive back over Cummins' head that fortuitously dropped before the fielders in the deep could catch it.
The batsman's luck dried up on the next ball though as another attempted on-side slog caught the edge and fell into the grateful gloves of wicketkeeper Dinesh Karthik.
Viewers couldn't believe what they had just witnessed as Smith trudged off for just three runs, looking anything but one of the world's best batsmen.
Very uncharacteristic Steve smith as well ! Don’t know what was going through his mind ?— Pratik Behera (@PratikBehera13) October 1, 2020
I just cannot believe this, that was NOT Steve Smith. All four balls he faced by Pat Cummins, seemed like Smith was hell bent on throwing his wicket away. Makes no sense, terrible slog - almost caught on the third ball & followed it up by another slog. @stevesmith49 #KKRvsRR #RR— Sushant Mehta (@SushantNMehta) September 30, 2020
Not sure what made Steve Smith to threw his wicket away, it is a good batting pitch...same with Sanju Samson even he threw his wicket away even though they have good runrate.— Isaac Hen (@IsaacHen1) September 30, 2020
Steve Smith was just throwing his wicket away from the first ball #RRvKXIP— Parin Gala (@parin2311) September 30, 2020
Man I'm still not out of the shock of watching that Steve Smith innings tbh, what was he doing. There was legit no need of him to play like that and I don't think that should be his role in the side as well especially when he has someone as explosive as Buttler at the other end.— Prashanth🏏📝 (@ps_it_is) September 30, 2020
Asked afterwards about his bizarre battle with Cummins, the Aussie was quick to heap praise on his compatriot's bowling.
“I just spoke to him (Cummins) and he said you normally smack those in the nets (laughs),” Smith said.
“I got a good one tonight.”
Kolkata quicks destroy Rajasthan’s top order
Fast bowlers Kamlesh Nagarkoti and Shivam Mavi ran through Rajasthan's top order batting to earn a 37-run win for Kolkata.
The 20-year-old Nagarkoti grabbed 2-13 while Mavi got the prized wickets of Sanju Samson (8) and Jos Buttler (21) to restrict Smith's Rajasthan side at 9-137.
England batsman Tom Curran top-scored with 54 off 36 balls and was one of three Rajasthan batsman to reach double figures.
"It was a little different after seeing the wicket, thought it would be flat, but it was seaming around so I kept it tight," Mavi said.
"I've played against some of these big players before, I knew what they would do so I made sure I just stuck to the lines and lengths."
Earlier, after being sent in to bat, Kolkata owed its total of 6-174 to Shubman Gill's 47 off 34 balls up front and Eoin Morgan's unbeaten 34 off 23 deliveries.
Jofra Archer pinned down Kolkata's batsmen with fine figures of 2-14 and had Gill caught off his own bowling in the 12th over.
Nagarkoti and Mavi's early strikes left Rajasthan reeling at 5-42 in the eighth over before Rahul Tewatia was clean bowled by leg-spinner Varun Chakravarthy to make it 6-66 in the 11th over.
Curran reduced the margin of defeat with some late hitting that included successive sixes off Sunil Narine to complete his half century in an otherwise a disappointing performance by Rajasthan's top order batsmen.
"We lost too many wickets up front, a few of us probably thought we're still playing at Sharjah," said Smith, who was caught behind in the second over after scoring only three.
"We probably didn't adapt as well as we could have to the wicket and the dimensions. We'll wait and see about switching the XI around."
Kolkata's persistence with Narine as an opener failed for the third successive match when the West Indian left-hander played onto left-arm seamer Jaydev Unadkat in the fifth over and was clean bowled for 15.
Andre Russell (24 off 14 balls) and Nitish Rana (22 off 17 balls) couldn't capitalise on good starts but Morgan hit two sixes and a four which propelled Kolkata's total in the end.
It was Rajasthan's first loss in the tournament after it won both its previous games at Sharjah.
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