Australia skipper Steve Smith feasts on Indian attack
Smith's batting has grown in stature with the Australian captaincy handed to him after a hamstring injury ruled regular skipper Michael Clarke out of the India series following the first Test in Adelaide.cricket Updated: Jan 08, 2015 03:37 IST
Australian skipper Steve Smith sidled into Don Bradman territory with his fourth consecutive Test century against India in Sydney on Wednesday.
Smith's batting has grown in stature with the Australian captaincy handed to him after a hamstring injury ruled regular skipper Michael Clarke out of the India series following the first Test in Adelaide.
Smith added his latest knock of 117 on Wednesday's second day of the fourth Test in Sydney to his unbeaten 162 in Adelaide, 133 in Brisbane and 192 in Melbourne.
In doing so Smith became only the third batsman along with Bradman and Jacques Kallis to score tons in four consecutive Tests in the same series.
"It's been a pretty special summer for me personally, obviously with some of the results that I've got," Smith said. "But look, I always put the team first, I think the success the team has had over the last little bit has been outstanding and we're in another good position in this Test match."
Australian legend Bradman scored his centuries against South Africa at home in 1931-32, while Kallis compiled his hundreds against the West Indies in South Africa in 2003-04.
Smith, 25, who played one-day and Twenty20 internationals before making his Test debut against Pakistan at Lord's in July 2010, has now amassed 698 runs in the series at an average of 139.6. That placed him third behind Bradman (715) and Ricky Ponting (706) for most runs in a series against India.
He still has the possibility of batting again in the second innings in Sydney and eclipsing Bradman's record.
"It was just another special moment to get a hundred at the SCG, my home ground, and my favourite place to play," he said of his latest ton.
Smith was finally out before lunch when he was caught behind off Umesh Yadav ending his 208-ball knock spiced with 15 fours.
He has now scored eight hundreds in 26 Tests and is averaging almost 52. Six of those tons have come in the first innings of his last seven Tests at home.
Smith is picking up this year where he left off in 2014 when he finished fifth behind Sri Lanka's Kumar Sangakkara (1493) with 1,146 runs in the calendar year, edging team-mate David Warner by 10 runs.
"Getting dropped is always disappointing and you know you have to go back to state cricket to do well," Smith said of his early Test selection travails. "For me it was about finding a technique and a temperament to firstly succeed at that level and then the level above.
"I am really happy with the progress I've made in the last 18 months or so."
Smith is a product of the T20 era with a dazzling array of improvised shot-making, much in the mould of dashing Australian opener Warner.