Mon, 02 Oct 2023

London [UK], June 8 (ANI): Australia's star batter Steve Smith re-wrote record books as he continued his dominant run on English soil, bringing up yet another magnificent hundred against India during the ICC World Test Championship (WTC) final at The Oval on Thursday.

Smith completed his 2,000 Test runs against India. In 19 Tests against India, Smith has scored 2,008 runs at an average of 66.93. In 36 innings, he has nine centuries and five fifties, with the best score of 192.

Smith is currently tied with Australian great Ricky Ponting for most international centuries against Australia. Smith also has five ODI centuries against India in 20 innings.

The Aussie is also tied with England batter Joe Root in terms of the Test hundreds against India. Both have nine tons in the longest format against India.

Smith also surpassed former opener Matthew Hayden to score third-most Test hundreds. Smith currently has a total of 31 Test tons, more than Hayden (30 centuries) and below Steve Waugh (32 centuries) and Ricky Ponting (41 centuries).

Smith has a total of 43 international centuries, including 12 Test centuries. At the top among active players are Virat Kohli (75 centuries), Joe Root (45 centuries) David Warner (45 centuries) and then Smith (43).

The batter also continued his incredible run in English conditions.

In four matches, Smith has a total of 512 runs at The Oval. These runs have come at an average of 102.40, with three centuries and a fifty. His best Test score of 143 on English soil came on this very ground. With 42 more runs in the second innings, he can overtake the legendary Don Bradman, who has 553 runs on this ground in four matches at an average of over 138 with two centuries and a fifty.

Smith also surpassed Rahul Dravid to have joint second-highest Test tons in England. Don Bradman has the highest number of Test centuries in England, followed by Steve Waugh and Smith (7 each). At third, comes Dravid, who has six centuries on English soil.

Meanwhile, on the second day of the Oval test, tight bowling spells from the pace trio of Mohammed Siraj, Mohammed Shami and Shardul Thakur helped India make a comeback in the first session of the second day of the ICC World Test Championship final against Australia at The Oval on Thursday, with Aussies going from 327/3 to 422/7.

At lunch, Alex Carey was batting on 22 and Pat Cummins on 2.

Australia started the day at the overnight score of 327/3 with Steve Smith (95) and Travis Head (146) unbeaten.

The duo started the second day with positive intent, with Smith smashing two boundaries in the first over of the day to bring up his 31st Test hundred and seventh in England.

Head also brought up his 150 in just 164 balls. Australia brought up the 350-run mark in the 90th over.

Mohammed Siraj struck early in the session to give India the much-needed breakthrough. Head was caught behind by KS Bharat for 163 (174 balls). His knock consisted of 25 fours and a six. Australia were 361/4.

Mohammed Shami dismissed Cameron Green for six runs as he was caught by Shubman Gill at slips. Next, it was Shardul Thakur who got the key wicket of Smith for 121 (268 balls). Australia were 387/6 in 98.1 overs and crossed the 400-run mark in 102.5 overs.

Axar Patel, who had come to the field as a substitute, made an immediate impact by running out Mitchell Starc for just five runs. India continued to build pressure on the lower order with their pace, but Alex Carey and skipper Pat Cummins put up some solid resistance to it carrying Australia to the lunch without further damage.

Australia had ended the first day on a high at 327/3 with Steve Smith (95) and Travis Head (146) unbeaten. India had restricted Australia to 76/3 but Head-Smith put on a solid partnership to put Australia in a strong position.

Brief Scores: Australia: 402/7 (Travis Head 163, Steve Smith 121, Shardul Thakur 2/83). (ANI)

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