Standing tall once again despite the hardships, Steve Smith has smashed his second ton of the match and has now overthrown Indian skipper Virat Kohli to become the second-fastest batsman to score 25 Test centuries. The former Australia captain achieved the feat on Day 4 of the 1st Test against England in Birmingham on Sunday.
Leading the charts is Sir Don Bradman, who achieved the landmark in a staggering 68 innings while it took Smith 119 innings. The Indian skipper reached the milestone in 127 innings.
Smith has also equalled Steve Waugh of most centuries scored in the Ashes, 10. Leading the charts once again is Don Bradman, who has hammered 19 centuries, while the second spot is occupied by Sir Jack Hobbs with 12 tons.
Other than the mentioned stats above, Smith has joined an exclusive club of five Australians to score twin centuries in an Ashes Test, joining the likes of Matthew Hayden, Steve Waugh, Arthur Morris and Warren Bardsley. The last time twin centuries were smashed by an Australian, was by Hayden who did so during the 2002-03 Ashes series.
Former England captain Michael Vaughan was all praise for the Australian, calling him the 'best test match batsman' he has seen.
— Michael Vaughan (@MichaelVaughan) August 4, 2019
Australia started the day on 124/3 with a 34-run lead. Smith and Head gave little quarter to the England bowlers as they depended upon the leg break of Joe Denly to reap dividends. Instead, it was Ben Stokes who got the solitary wicket of Head. Strangely enough, Chris Woakes did not bowl a single over in the first session.
England's only breakthrough came in the 53rd over. Head, who had crossed 50 by then, was tricked into slashing a slow ball by Stokes and wicketkeeper Jonny Bairstow did well to hold on to the ball that was dipping as it came towards him.
Had England been able to capitalise on that wicket, they would have held the cards at the end of the first session but Matthew Wade came and, just as Head before him, gave Smith able assistance in the middle. At the end of the first session, Wade was on 15 off 17 balls while Smith was on 98 off 144 deliveries.
(With IANS Inputs)