Former Australia captain Steve Smith has returned to the international cricket with a bang after completing a year-long ban due to the ball-tampering scandal. Although he returned to the One Day Internationals during the ICC World Cup, his return in Test during the Ashes took the limelight away from others.
During the first Ashes at Edgbaston, when most of the Australia players struggled to score, Steve Smith smashed 144, including 16 fours and 2 sixes. He pulled his side out of trouble when they were reduced to 122-8. His knock helped Australia to post a total of 284 in the first innings.
However, his wonderful form continues in the second innings as well where he amassed another hundred on Day 4 on Sunday. He, once again, on the way to help his side and scored a blistering 142, including 14 boundaries.
— CricTracker (@Cricketracker) August 4, 2019
With this century, Steve Smith smashed his 6th Ashes ton in his last 10 Ashes innings. Smith has equalled the record of Steve Waugh (10 centuries) and only behind Don Bradman (19) and Jack Hobbs (12).
He reached his 25th Test century in 65th Test match, despite a one-year ban from international cricket. This is the second-fastest by any player to reach the feat after Don Bradman (68 innings) while Smith took 119 innings. Smith becomes the only fifth Australian batsman and eighth batsman overall to score hundreds in both innings of an Ashes Test and only the third Australian to achieve the milestone in England.
Steven Smith's twin tons:
– first in his Test career
– 5th Aus batsman in Ashes
– 8th batsman overall in Ashes
– 2nd batsman at Edgbaston#Ashes2019
— Bharath Seervi (@SeerviBharath) August 4, 2019
However, this is the first time he has scored two centuries in a single match. He scored his first hundred at The Oval in 2013. Smith is averaging 71.93 in 97 innings before this innings. He even smashed six Fifty-plus scores in his last six Ashes innings – 239, 76, 102*, 83, 144 and 142. He became the second Australian player to smash six consecutive 50-plus scores against their arch-rival England after Michael Hussey in 2009-10.
Most #Ashes Test 100s
19 – Don Bradman (63 inns)
12 – Jack Hobbs (71)
10 – Steve Waugh (72)/Steve Smith (43)
Fewest inns to reach 10th #Ashes 100
37 – Bradman
43 – S Smith
48 – Hobbs
71 – S Waugh#Ashes19#EngvAus #EngvsAus
— Mohandas Menon (@mohanstatsman) August 4, 2019
Smith has scored 286 runs in the Test which is the highest match score for him in a Test, surpassing his own 273 (215 & 58) against England at Lord’s in 2015. The last Australian player who scored 250-plus runs in a Test match in England was Bob Simpson in 1964.
Surprisingly, since the second innings of the Trent Bridge test in 2015, England failed to dismiss Smith in Tests for a score under 50. It will be interesting to see how many more records he will break in this innings.