Cricket Article

Smith Ends Test Century Wait, India Fights Back

Smith Ends Test Century Wait, India Fights Back Photo: TT
Australia's Steve Smith celebrates on reaching a century during play on day two of the third cricket test between India and Australia at the Sydney Cricket Ground

Steve Smith returned to form with his first Test century in 15 months but Australia let slip a strong position as India fought back on day two of the Third Test at the SCG on Friday.

Australia resumed on 2-166 but were bowled out for 338, losing 8-132 after Marnus Labuschagne’s dismissal for 91 from Ravi Jadeja, having been in a dominant position with him and Smith at the crease, at 2-206.

India had a lot of success with the second new ball, turning the game on its head after Matthew Wade’s exit for 13, with Jasprit Bumrah going through the middle order to finish with 2-66, while Jadeja cleaned up four wickets plus the eventual run out of Smith.

Prior to that, Smith ended his Test hundred drought dating back to the 2019 Ashes, reaching triple figures before drinks in the second session alongside Mitchell Starc.

Smith was visibly overjoyed by the milestone, which was his 27th Test century for Australia and comes after some criticism.

“I’m reading a lot of things people say that I’m out form but I think there’s a difference between out of form and out of runs,” Smith told Fox Cricket.

“It’s just nice to score a few and maybe keep a few people quiet.”

Smith added post-stumps: “It was only about three of four weeks ago I scored two hundreds at the SCG, so it makes me laugh sometimes when people say that kind of thing.

“I missed out in the first two Test matches obviously, and came back today and scored some runs and helped put us in a decent position.”

While Smith’s century was a big part of day two, India’s fightback cannot be understated, finishing at 2-96 by stumps with Cheteshwar Pujara (9no) and Ajinkya Rahane (5no) at the crease.

After a 70-run opening stand, Josh Hazlewood dismissed Rohit Sharma caught and bowled for 26, while Shubman Gill fell to Pat Cummins shortly after reaching his maiden Test half-century.

Ben somerford
Sports Pundit staff writer @bensomerford
Australian journalist who specialises on all sports, focusing on football, tennis, basketball and racing, having written for global publications including FourFourTwo, AAP, Inside Futbol and many more....

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