Steve Smith roared back to form with a century – first by an Australian this Border-Gavaskar series – on the second day of the third Test match against India at his home ground in Sydney on Friday.
Smith reached his 27th Test hundred in 201 deliveries, collecting three off India pace debutant Navdeep Saini.
Although this is one of the 31-year-old’s slowest Test tons, he wouldn’t mind much as he entered triple digits after a really long time, having scored none in 2020.
His last Test hundred came in September 2019 when he scored 211 against England in Manchester. The World No.3 Test batsman’s last Test century on Australian soil came in December 2017 against England in Melbourne [102*]. This also happens to be Smith’s first Test ton in 22 innings outside the Ashes since making 111 in March 2017 against India in Dharamsala.
During the innings, the right-handed batsman also surpassed India captain Virat Kohli’s Test tally of 7,318 runs. Smith has now equalled Kohli’s century tally – the most among active cricketers.
With today’s feat, Smith additionally joined Gary Sobers, Viv Richards and Ricky Ponting at the summit of the elite list of batsmen who have scored the most Test hundreds against India [eight].
Smith, who was having a poor series heading into the third Test, looked determined to get a big one from the moment he walked out to the crease. He had scores of 1, 1*, 0 and 8 in his first four innings of the series and seemed troubled by India off-spinner Ashwin Ravichandran’s straight, probing line.