Australian batting mainstay Steve Smith, who was going through a lean patch, was back amongst the runs in the India vs Australia 3rd Test at the SCG. The right-hander brought up his 27th century in Test cricket for Australia and helped his side post a competitive total of 338 in the first innings. Smith played a brilliant knock of 131 off 226 deliveries with the help of 16 boundaries. The former Australian captain's resolute innings was brought to an end by Ravindra Jadeja's bullet throw as he caught him short of his crease.
This was century number 8 for Smith vs India in Tests. In doing so, Smith matched a coveted feat of scoring most numbers of Test centuries against India (8) in just 25 innings. Former West Indian legends Sir Garfield Sobers (8 centuries in 30 innings), Sir Vivian Richards (8 centuries in 41 innings) and former Australian captain Ricky Ponting (8 centuries in 51 innings) also have eight centuries each to their name, particularly against India in Tests.
Smith also equals the record for most Test 100s (8) v India. Here's the breakdown:— Adam Burnett (@AdamBurnett09) January 8, 2021
STEVE SMITH 8 in 25 inns
Viv Richards 8/41
The Smith vs India record a different entity altogether and his staggering numbers are a testament to it. In 13 Tests against India, Smith has scored 1,601 runs at an astonishing average of 76.24 with eight tons and three fifties. Notably, with his 27th Test ton, Smith also matched his nemesis and Indian captain Virat Kohli, former Australian captain Allan Border and former South African captain Graeme Smith, all of whom have 27 centuries to their name in Test cricket.
Meanwhile, with the overnight score of 166/2, Australia started positively on Day 2 with Smith and Marnus Labuschagne going strong. However, once Labuschagne was dismissed for 91, wickets kept tumbling from one end while Smith held the other end and notched a ton to help the hosts post a competitive score. Ravindra Jadeja was the pick of the Indian bowlers with figures of 4/62.
After restricting Australia to 338, India got off to a good start as openers Rohit Sharma and Shubman Gill posted 70 runs before the former was dismissed. Gill scored a valiant fifty and departed soon after. India reached 96/2 at Stumps on Day 2 with Cheteshwar Pujara batting on 9 and skipper Ajinkya Rahane unbeaten on 5. India will hope that the duo carries on and lays a solid foundation for the lower-middle order to come and score big.
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