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Stats: Steven Smith joins elite club of five consecutive Test tons against same opponent

The Australian skipper has made Indian bowlers become an unwanted part of history.

Steve Smith
Steven Smith has joined an exclusive club of legendary Test batsmen

The sight of Steven Smith’s unique stance and swerving blade should be quite sickening for the Indian bowlers. The 27-year old Australian batsman has plundered a whopping 1066 runs from 7 Tests against India at a jaw-dropping average of 88.83 including five centuries and three fifties.

With his spectacular 109 in the second innings of the opening Test in Pune, the skipper joined an exclusive club of batsmen to have scored five consecutive hundreds against the same opponent. Prior to his match-winning ton in unfamiliar terrain, the right-hander had scored a century in each of the four Tests against India in the 2014/15 home series(Adelaide, Brisbane, Melbourne and Sydney).

Aside from making Indian bowlers become an unwanted part of history, Smith was just the fifth batsman to achieve the feat of five successive Test tons against the same opponent. He entered a rare club also featuring Sir Don Bradman, Neil Harvey, Shoaib Mohammad and Jacques Kallis.

While Bradman sits on top of the list with as many as six straight tons against England during the 1937/38 season, the other four have scored five consecutive centuries. The great man could have even added to his collection had he not injured his ankle in the timeless Test at The Oval.

One of Australian cricket’s household names, Harvey followed his bumper away series against South Africa in 1949 with a 109 in Brisbane in the 1952 series. Following scores of 11 and 60 in the second Test in Melbourne, the left-hander went on to register a century each in the next three matches.

Pakistan’s Shoaib Mohammad, son of the original ‘Little Master’ Hanif, had a special liking for New Zealand’s bowling attack. His exploits varied from the seam-friendly conditions of Wellington and Auckland to the flat pitches of Karachi, Lahore and Faisalabad.

South African giant Kallis smashed West Indies for four hundreds in the 2003/04 home series before continuing the sequence in the 2005 Georgetown Test. Although he scored another ton in the fourth Test in Antigua, the law of averages had caught up with him in the preceding two matches.

Extra Cover: Top-ranked Steve Smith reaches career-high rating after Pune Test

If he reaches three figures in the second Test at the M Chinnaswamy Stadium in Bengaluru, Smith will equal Bradman’s feat of six straight tons against the same opponent. Looking at his recent form and affinity for Indian bowlers, there is every chance of him breaking a few more records in the remaining matches.

Most consecutive Test tons against the same opponent

BatsmanOpponentCentury #1Century #2Century #3Century #4Century #5Century #6Year
Sir Don BradmanEngland270 in Melbourne169 in Melbourne144 in Nottingham102 in London (Lord’s)212 in Leeds103 in Leeds1937-38
Neil HarveySouth Africa178 in Cape Town151* in Durban100 in Johannesburg116 in Port Elizabeth109 in Brisbane____1949-52
Shoaib MohammadNew Zealand163 in Wellington112 in Auckland203* in Karachi105 in Lahore142 in Faisalabad____1989-90
Jacques KallisWest Indies158 in Johannesburg177 in Durban130* in Cape Town130* in Centurion109* in Georgetown____2003-05
Steven SmithIndia162* in Adelaide133 in Brisbane192 in Melbourne117 in Sydney109 in Pune____2014-17

(**Note: All Statistics are accurate as of 26th February, 2017)

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