Steve Smith, known as the Don Bradman of modern Test cricket, has surpassed Bradman’s record of centuries by scoring his 30th Test century.
Australia’s two middle order Test veterans Marnus Labuschagne and Steve Smith are scoring runs continuously. As long as these two are in form in the middle order, it is very difficult for the opposition to win the match. Opening from the top, Usman Khawaja has proved to be a big surprise package, having executed big innings at the top of the order. At present, Australia is playing the third Test match of the series in Sydney with the intention of a clean sweep of South Africa, where Steve Smith crossed the landmark of Don Bradman by scoring his 30th Test century on Thursday.
Not that Smith has now become better than Bradman, but he has scored his 30th century in 190 balls, surpassing Bradman’s 29 Test hundreds. Don had played very few matches then. Cricket used to be very less during that time. Smith, who is called the Bradman of modern cricket, hit a brilliant pull shot off Anrich Nortje to bring up his century in the home city. He was dismissed for 104 runs after two balls. Steve was dismissed by Keshav Maharaj.
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Now only Ponting (41) and Waugh (32) have scored more Test centuries for Australia than Smith, who is second only to the immortal Bradman (99.94) with a current Test average of 60.89 in his 92nd Test match. Also, Smith is only behind Ricky Ponting, Allan Border and Steve Waugh with 8,647 runs. He also overtook Michael Clarke to become Australia’s fourth highest Test run-scorer.
Meanwhile, Khawaja was on 195 off 368 balls when rain stopped play on the second day. Khawaja shared a 209-run partnership with Smith for the third wicket.
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Australia have already won this Test series as they won the first match of the series in two days, then won by an innings and 182 runs in Melbourne. The Kangaroos reminisced their olden days when they used to crush opposition teams with ruthlessness. They can also win the third Test provided the weather cooperates with them. Apart from the series whitewash, Australia would then be almost assured of a place in the ICC World Test Championship final to be held in London in June.
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Story first published: Thursday, January 5, 2023, 12:03 [IST]