During the Border-Gavaskar Trophy earlier this year, Australia skipper Steve Smith produced a sterling knock of 109 against Indian on an absolute minefield in Pune. On a vicious rank-turner against the seasoned Indian spinners like Ravichandran Ashwin and Ravindra Jadeja, Smith displayed a great of patience.
The Aussie skipper trusted his defence and was the lone batsman from both sides to cross the three-figure mark in a low-scoring affair that Australia went on to win by a whopping margin of 333 runs. No wonder, Smith rates his Pune ton among his top three centuries in the longest format of cricket.
“Before our team had even set foot in the subcontinent we were written off by everyone, which made my 109 and more importantly our win in Pune that much more satisfying. The Pune wicket was incredibly challenging with the ball spinning sharply from the first session, so by the time our second innings started it was turning big,” Smith wrote in his latest column for cricket.com.au.
“I haven’t scored too many second-innings hundreds and although I had a few lives along the way, I was proud of the way I stuck to my plans and was able to think on my feet,” he further added.
Even though Australia lost the subsequent Tests in Bangalore and Dharamsala and consequently conceded the four-match Test series 1-2 to India, Smith proved his mettle throughout the series as he piled up 499 runs at an incredible average of 71.
The other two hundreds that feature in Smith’s career list of top three centuries are an unbeaten 141 that he notched in the recently concluded first Ashes Test at Brisbane and a gritty 100 against the top class Proteas pace attack that he scored in February 2014 at SuperSport Park, Centurion.
Smith has been doing wonders in Test cricket for quite some time now. The 28-year-old is the only batsman in contemporary cricket to average over 60 in Test cricket. As far as Smith’s overall Test numbers are concerned – the Australian captain has amassed 5557 Test runs in 58 matches, including 21 tons and as many fifties.