Steve Smith returned to Test cricket after a gap of more than one year to a hostile reception at Edgbaston as the Ashes got underway but as the day came to an end, he once again showed why he is the best out there in red-ball cricket.
Smith returned in challenging circumstances and it got worse as Australia lost David Warner, Cameron Bancroft and Usman Khawaja relatively early. However, Smith dug in there and somehow managed to play on and score his 24th Test hundred and rescue the visitors.
In the process, Smith went past Kohli's record of being the second-fastest to score 24 Test tons. He achieved the feat in 118 innings compared to Kohli's 123. Sir Donald Bradman, who has achieved the feat in just 66 innings. Sachin Tendulkar (125) and Sunil Gavaskar (128) follow the tip three.
Smith now has the highest avergae after 100 innings with 62.18 and is followed by Ken Barrington (58.67), Walter Hammond (58.45), Garry Sobers (57.78) and Kumar Sangakkara (57.40) in the top five.
"I thought we bowled fantastically well this morning, going a bowler down was tricky for the guys to keep going. But it was an exceptional innings from Smith and we will see what kind of score that is tomorrow," Butter told Sky Sports about Smith.
Smith shared his first important partnership of the day — 64 runs with Travis Head — which ended with Head leg before wicket for 35 against Woakes on a day which had been dominated by lbw dismissals and reviews, including a successful one by Smith.
Smith's second notable stand was with Peter Siddle. He and Siddle came to the rescue of Australia's first innings with an 88-run partnership for the ninth wicket at Edgbaston, and Smith then shared 74 runs with Nathan Lyon (12 not out) for the last wicket in an extraordinary turnaround.
Smith was finally bowled while trying to smash Stuart Broad. The former captain's brilliant 219-ball knock, which provided more than half his team's runs, included two sixes and 16 fours.
(With inputs from AP)