Steve Smith continued his welcome return to form for Australia raising his 27th Test century off 201 balls in the third Test against India in Sydney. In what was his fifth slowest Test ton, the right-hander equaled the record for most Test hundreds (8) against India.
After being unable to reach three figures in 2020, the new year has started with a bang for the Australian whose 27th Test century helped him go level with Virat Kohli, Graeme Smith, and Allan Border.
He reached the landmark in his 136th innings, second-fastest to it only after Sir Don Bradman (70 innings). Kohli reached the same milestone in 146 innings.
The ICC Men’s Test Player of the Decade scored 131 which propelled Australia to 338.
This is also Smith’s first home Test ton since 2017.
Smith has scored 1570 Test runs against India in 25 inns (with an average of 74.76). He has also scored 2799 international runs against India (with an average of 63.61).
The celebration said just how much it meant to him, and he had been made to wait for it too as he spent 20 minutes stuck on 99.
Taking off his helmet, Smith swung his bat, puffed his chest, and saluted the crowd before his raising his arms again. The sheer elation felt like there was a point to it as well.
“I’m reading a lot of things people say that I’m out of form but think I think there’s a difference between out of form and out of runs,” Smith told Fox Cricket at the drinks break. “Just nice to score a few and maybe keep a few people quiet.”
Smith went to stumps on day one at the SCG unbeaten on 31 and rarely looked troubled on day two.
The Indians didn’t look like getting him out until Ravindra Jadeja ran him out with a direct hit for 131.
The four-match Border-Gavaskar trophy series is currently tied at 1-1. The holder India is hoping to secure it with a victory in Sydney and Australia needing to win the series to reclaim it.
Australia won the opening day-night match in Adelaide by eight wickets and India responded with an eight-wicket win in Melbourne last week.