Smith even admitted that he allowed Ashwin to dominate him, again very unusual for a batsman like to Smith to utter such a thing publicly. There was no false bravado but just the acceptance of a fact, and a willingness to move on and get back to run-scoring ways. Smith did that at one of his favoured venues – Sydney Cricket Ground – against a tough opposition – India.
Smith’s 131 was a personal statement in that regard – the champion batsman has not come down one bit and the lean run of four innings was a mere aberration. This was Smith’s 8th hundred against India and joined the likes of Gary Sobers, Viv Richards and Ricky Ponting as batsmen with most Test hundreds against India. Smith’s run-making ability could have been India’s secret worry coming into this series, and they managed to keep him silent for 4 innings.
But the New South Welshman atoned for all that with an outstanding hundred. From a team’s point of view too Smith’s hundred was important. The Aussie batsmen were in a massive struggle against fired-up India bowlers despite winning the first Test at Adelaide. Imagine, in four digs their top team total was 200 before they made 338 in the first innings of the third Test this day at the SCG. They even struggled to put away a debutant like Mohammad Siraj in Melbourne.
The Smith hundred will give the team all the confidence they need in the remainder of the series while up against the likes of Jasprit Bumrah, Ashwin and Ravindra Jadeja. Smith might just have turned the corner for his side.
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