Australia skipper Steven Smith continued his red-hot form in Test cricket, as he slammed one of the best centuries of his career in the first innings of the Ashes-opener in Brisbane.
It was a laborious inning from the right-handed batsman, who was making his debut in the iconic series as a captain. With wickets falling at regular intervals from one end and England bowlers bowling a disciplined line, Smith showed his quality and scored a fighting fifty to not only bail his team out of the trouble but also helped the hosts to get the momentum as well. Smith remained unbeaten on 141, as Australia’s innings ended on 326.
The knock also helped Smith to surpass the legendary Sachin Tendulkar and become the third quickest batsman to score 21 Test centuries. The former India batsman, who holds the record of scoring the most number of hundreds in Test cricket as well as One-Day Internationals, scored his 21st Test ton in his 110th innings while Smith achieved the same feat in his 105th innings.
Former Australia skipper Donald Bradman holds the record of being quickest to score 21 Test centuries. The legendary batsman had reached the milestone in just 56 innings. Former India skipper Sunil Gavaskar is second in the list, taking 98 innings to reach the milestone.
‘One of the best’:
Meanwhile, Smith said his hundred at the Gabba is one of the best of his career. The century was the slowest of his Test career, as he took 261 deliveries to reach the three-digit mark.
“It’d be up there, definitely,” Smith said. “With the team in a bit of trouble, I had to try and bat some time and dig really deep. It was nice to put on a few partnerships with Shaun [Marsh] and Patty Cummins at the back end there; I thought he played really well.
“I just had to fight really hard, get through difficult periods and just keep batting. There were some reasonably defensive fields set, so boundaries were quite hard to come by. So it was just about getting off the strike and waiting for the balls in my areas and being really disciplined, and I thought I did that really well,” he added.