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An average of 151 and Cook's 2010-11 haul in his sights - Steve Smith's dominant Ashes

574   //    30 Dec 2017, 15:13 IST
Australia captain Steve Smith

Steve Smith surpassed 600 runs in the 2017-18 Ashes as the fourth Test drew to a close on Saturday, registering his third hundred of the series.

The Australia captain has been in dominant form throughout a victorious campaign for the hosts and could now have Alastair Cook's mammoth run-tally from the 2010-11 rubber in his sights.

Smith's 102 not out at the MCG was his second unbeaten hundred of the series, following his score of 141 not out in the opening Test at the Gabba.

He also compiled a magnificent 239 in Perth and further scores of 40, 6 and 76 mean he has made a stunning 604 runs in the series, while being dismissed on only four occasions.

Smith's aggregate haul is already more than Denis Compton (a best of 562), Ricky Ponting (576) or Allan Border (597 in six Tests) ever made in an Ashes series, while his average stands at a remarkable 151.

Cook's huge total in 2010-11, which saw him score 766 runs to help England to victory, represents the most runs in a five-match Ashes series since Don Bradman's 810 in 1936-37. Bradman also holds the all-time record with an absurd 974 in the 1930 series.

Given Smith's form, it would be no surprise if Australia's number four managed the 161 runs he needs to surpass Cook in the fifth and final Test at the Sydney Cricket Ground.

Smith now has 23 Test hundreds and is the third-fastest to reach that mark behind Bradman and Garfield Sobers, but is refusing to let his success result in complacency.

"I  just go out and try and play, and try and get better each and every day, to be honest. Playing this game, you can never be satisfied and never think you're too good for the game. The game can come back to bite you pretty quickly," he said in a post-match news conference.

"You've got to keep working hard and each time I go to the middle now, I'm making sure I have my same routines, I'm doing my basic things really well, I'm trying to get myself in the same zone each and every time. I just love batting and I want to keep making runs and getting Australia into good positions."


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