Mumbai: Smith marked his return to Test cricket by smashing a ton on the opening day of the Ashes series at Edgbaston on Thursday. Smith, who served a 12-month ban for his involvement in last year's ball tampering standard played an innings on 144 runs, comprising 16 fours and two sixes.
Australia failed against English bowling attack on a fairly greenish Birmingham track, slipping to the score of 122/8. Smith's ton aided visitors to gather 284 runs on the scoreboard. Smith scored his 24th Test century in 118 innings and became the second fastest batsman to do so. Only Donald Bradman got his 24th century in fewer innings (66). Virat Kohli and Sachin Tendulkar took 123 and 125 innings respectively.
Smith has now levelled with Greg Chappell, Viv Richards and Mohammad Yousuf on 24 Test centuries. Only six Australia batsmen have more Test centuries now.
Smith has scored nine centuries in 42 innings and averages over 60 in the Ashes. Five of the nine hundreds have come in the last seven Ashes Tests.
Smith was booed and jeered in the World Cup by the English supporters and that trend continued in the Ashes as well. The 30-year-old said that he ignored the repeated boos of the crowd, adding that he had contemplated the end of his career after the ball-tampering scandal.
"There were times throughout the last 15 months where I didn't know if I was ever going to play cricket again," Smith said in Birmingham.
"I lost a bit of love for it at one point, particularly when I had my elbow operation, and it was really bizarre, it was the day when I got my brace off my elbow I found my love for it again. I don't know what it was, it was like a trigger to go again, I want to play, I want to go out and play for Australia and I guess make people proud and just do what I love doing," added Smith....