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India vs Australia: Steve Smith returns to form, surpasses Virat Kohli in a Test record

India vs Australia: Steve Smith returns to form, surpasses Virat Kohli in a Test record
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India vs Australia: Steve Smith returns to form, surpasses Virat Kohli in a Test record

Highlights

Australian batsman Steve Smith, whose highest score in the ongoing Border Gavaskar Trophy was eight, finally returned to form as he recorded a century on Day two of the third Test in Sydney on Friday.

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Australian batsman Steve Smith, whose highest score in the ongoing Border Gavaskar Trophy was eight, finally returned to form as he recorded a century on Day two of the third Test in Sydney on Friday.

Smith matched Indian skipper Virat Kohli's tally in Test cricket – 27 centuries, during his knock of 131 off 226 balls, which included 16 boundaries. Kohli scored his 27th century during India's maiden day-night Test, which was against Bangladesh at Kolkata's Eden Gardens. It was his 84th appearance in the Tests. Smith, who recently was named the ICC Test Men's Cricketer of the Decade, needed only 76 Tests to claim the feat.

Overall, Smith is the second fastest cricketer to reach 27 Test centuries. Sir Don Bradman took only 70 innings to reach the landmark, in comparison to Smith's 136 innings, Kohli and Sachin Tendulkar's 141 innings.

During his knock of 131 at the Sydney Cricket Ground (SCG), Smith also surpassed Kohli's run tally. The Australian No. 4 now has 7,368 runs in 136 innings at a brilliant average of 61.91. On the other hand, Kohli has accumulated 7,318 runs in 147 innings at an average of 53.41.

Team India had managed to keep Smith quiet in the opening two Tests in Adelaide and Melbourne, where the former Australian captain scored 1,1* and 0, 8. He came into the New Year's Test at SCG under a lot of pressure. India's off-spinner Ravichandran Ashwin, who had dismissed Smith twice earlier in the series, gave Marnus Labuschagne an easy single to bring Smith on strike and have a go at him once again.

However, World No. 3 showed nothing but composed and confident body language with excellent footwork. While he stitched a crucial 100-run partnership with Labuschagne before the latter fell on 91 and missed out on a deserving century.

Smith struck 13 boundaries en route his triple-digit score. While the Indian bowlers dominated on Friday, Smith stuck at one end as he batted with Matthew Wade, Cameron Green, Tim Paine, and Pat Cummins after the departure of Labuschagne.

Fifty-plus scores from debutant Will Pucovski and Labuschagne along with a brilliant century from Smith helped Australia post a respectable total of 338 before getting bowled out in 105.4 overs after lunch on Day two.

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