Smith continues to dominate with 192-run knock against India
MELBOURNE, Australia (AP) — Just eight runs short of his maiden test double century and with India’s field waiting on the boundary, Australia captain Steven Smith couldn’t resist chancing his luck with another audacious stroke.
As Smith attempted to flick the ball over his shoulder for yet another boundary, he could only look down as he was beaten by a straight Udesh Yadav delivery that took his middle stump and ended the Australian first innings at a daunting 530 on the second day of the first test Saturday.
It also ended a remarkable 192-run knock from 305 balls that dominated the Indian bowlers for more than a day and was punctuated by 15 boundaries and two sixes.
“I got out to a pretty silly shot. They had every man on the fence,” Smith said. “I was just trying to get a boundary and it didn’t work out so that’s OK.”
“I was going to declare at tea, so I was trying to get as many runs as we could before then, so I think 530 is a nice total for us.”
Smith, who has thrived since taking over the captaincy ahead of the second test, brought up his highest first class score, his third century of the series and seventh of his test career.
“It was pretty fun to be honest,” he said. “Batting in general is always fun though so it was nice to be able to play a few shots there at the end and try and get the total up as high as we could, so it was good fun.”
Smith also overtook big-hitting opener David Warner as Australia’s top test scorer for 2014 with 1,132 runs to Warner’s 1,096.
“I started pretty slow yesterday. I was two off about 30 balls from memory,” Smith said. “It was just about being patient and letting the bowlers keep coming back and getting tired.
“I feel pretty good at the crease. Everything is working for me at the moment, which is nice and the most pleasing thing is that we’ve got 530 runs on the board and that’s a very good first innings total for us.”
Smith has now scored 567 runs at an average of 189 this series and is the first Australian to score centuries in his first two tests as captain.
Smith’s previous highest first-class score was 177 scored for New South Wales against Tasmania in 2010 and his best test score of 162 not out came against India in the first test in Adelaide.
Despite easily eclipsing those marks, Smith says he hasn’t thought about the significance of his latest innings.
“I haven’t had a chance to think about it to be honest, I’m only thinking about fielding at the minute,” he said. “I’ll have a think about it overnight and see how we go.”