After notching up his 27th Test hundred on Day 2 of the SCG Test against India, Steve Smith took an opportunity to hit back at critics, who posed questions about his lack of runs in the first two Tests of the seres.
Steve Smith scored a majestic 131 off 226 balls in Australia’s first-innings total of 338. Speaking to Fox Cricket at the drinks break, Smith admitted that it was nice to be back among the runs but stated that he was not out of form, as many cricket pundits had been claiming. He said in this regard:
“I’m reading a lot of things people say that I’m out form, but think I think there’s a difference between out of form and out of runs.”
In what was a definite dig at critics, Smith added:
“Just nice to score a few and maybe keep a few people quiet.”
Steve Smith looked in no trouble at all during his hundred in Sydney, as he eased his way to another ton against India, scoring 16 fours during his 226-ball stay. It eventually required a brilliant one-handed direct hit by Ravindra Jadeja from square leg to end Steve Smith’s excellent innings.
Steve Smith’s Test ton on Friday was his eighth against India, the joint-most by any batsman against the country, with Ricky Ponting, Viv Richards and Garfield Sobers the only other players to conjure as many centuries against the visitors.
Despite Steve Smith’s majestic century, India managed to restrict Australia to 338 in the first innings.
Steve Smith overcomes Ashwin challenge
Going into the Sydney Test, there was a lot of discussion around how Steve Smith would tackle Indian off-spinner Ravichandran Ashwin, who had dismissed him cheaply twice in the series.
The Australian batsman himself admitted that he had allowed the off-spinner to dominate him in the first two matches, a mistake he was not intent on repeating at the SCG.
Steve Smith walked the talk at the SCG. He drove Ashwin with confidence and also went down the track to him, making a statement of intent against the premier bowler.
At the end of the first day’s play, Steve Smith stated that he made a conscious effort to be positive against Ravichandran Ashwin, saying in this regard:
“I’m good, nice to spend a bit of time out there, nice to stitch in a partnership with Marnus. I wanted to put him (Ashwin) under a little bit of pressure which I haven’t done this series.”
Steve Smith’s imperious return to form doesn't augur well for India, as he could thwart the visitors' efforts to retain the Border-Gavaskar Trophy.Published 08 Jan 2021, 10:52 IST