Smith's 144 off 219 balls was gritty and nothing short of a fight in enemy territory. Birmingham on Thursday was all about pulling Smith down but the greatness of the player allowed him to rise above the hate and demand respect from the finest of the game and the most ardent of English supporters.
From Piers Morgan to Michael Vaughan, everyone was in awe of the Aussie, who showed little signs of being away from red-ball cricket for over 15 months or so.
One of the all time Outstanding Test Innings ... To do that in his 1st Innings back in Test Cricket is remarkable ... Sometimes you have to admire greatness ... @stevesmith49 is some player ... #Ashes— Michael Vaughan (@MichaelVaughan) August 1, 2019
Outstanding day of test cricket. 8/122 & a few hours later @stevesmith49 has a 100 & Root has every fielder on the fence. So happy for Smithy as he showed courage, skill & determination, just awesome. Not sure Eng know how to bowl to him. Aust will be the happier dressing room !— Shane Warne (@ShaneWarne) August 1, 2019
Really was an extraordinary innings from Steve Smith in his comeback test, an innings full of guts , intensity and tenacity .— VVS Laxman (@VVSLaxman281) August 1, 2019
From 122/8 , he has taken Australia to 284. #Ashes pic.twitter.com/jwapJu5FLi
Whatever you think of Steve Smith,,,,the context of this test hundred must be appreciated for its sheer skill, tenacity and single-mindedness. Must rank very high on his list of 24💯’s.— Ian bishop (@irbishi) August 1, 2019
The 30-year-old's knock allowed Australia to have something on the board at the end of day one but it looks like it also resurfaced a forgotten rivalry off the pitch -- who is better Steve Smith and Virat Kohli?
Following Smith's innings, as the patrons of the game stood up and applauded another masterclass from the former Aussie captain, Twitter was all about banter and how Kohli is better than Smith.
@imVkohli should learn from Steve Smith's innings in the first match of the #ashes2019 , how to perform in big matches.Especially when the team was in trouble, Smith's innings was excellent. Currently @stevesmith49 is undoubtedly the greatest batsman of Test cricket.#ENGvAUS— ज्ञानेंद्र (@GyanendraKJha1) August 2, 2019
@England don't compare your Joe root with Steve Smith ! Yesterday his innings was one of the best under immense pressure and at key moments he comes with good innings be spinning track or fast Smith is Smith no Virat Kohli no Root nor Williamson.— Mohan Singh Raikwal (@mohan_raikwal) August 2, 2019
Steve Smith is without any doubt batting genius.its always very tough for bowlers to dismiss him in test cricket. Exciting days ahead as we will see kohli vs Smith duel of becoming best red ball player. Who you thinks is best right now @imVkohli or @stevesmith49— shailendra singh (@shailendra_0409) August 2, 2019
Virat Kohli's 149 last year.— Mufaddal Vohra (@mufaddal_vohra) August 1, 2019
Steve Smith's 144 this year.
That's it, that's the tweet.
No matter, What He did in d Past??? But, Undoubtedly, The Best Player in Test Cricket.... I would rate High to Steve Smith in Test than Virat Kohli, Joe Root & Kane Williamson...#Ashes Man...#Plz Give Some Respect fr d Man...👏👏👏#Ashes pic.twitter.com/hWwgx0p44f— Nilesh Khedikar (@NileshKhedikar5) August 1, 2019
Guys Steve Smith is back not Virat Kohli lol, Idk why the hell people are mentioning Kohli's name in Smith's tweets ?, Our King can't be away from the headlines 😊 #KingKohli #SteveSmith #Ashes #ashes2019 #ENGvsAUS #ENGvAUS #TheAshes— Amar Rana 🇮🇳 (@amar_tilakrana) August 1, 2019