Steve Smith created history when he scored a century; his 23rd to be exact at Melbourne Cricket Ground on Saturday. The fourth Ashes test that was being played there with England resulted in a draw, leaving the English highly frustrated as they were yet to achieve a win at the on-going Ashes.
Smith’s fantastic century in this test helped him break a series of records. He joined the league of Sir Don Bradman by scoring a century in four consecutive Melbourne tests. He became the highest run-getter in 2017 by scoring 1,305 runs in the Tests at an average of 76.76. He became the second batsman to achieve more than 1,000 runs in four consecutive calendar years. Mathew Hayden was the first batsmen to do this but the Australian skipper’s average of more than 70 outran Hayden’s.
If one were to list Smith’s runs and average for the earlier three years then it would be:
2014, runs – 1,146, average score – 81.85
2015, runs – 1,474, average score – 73.70
2016, runs – 1,079, average score – 71.93
The Aussie captain equaled Ricky Ponting’s record of scoring six centuries in Tests on numerous occasions in a single calendar year. Smith shot ahead of Sachin Tendulkar by becoming the third fastest batsman to achieve 22 centuries in test matches and retained his rank as he raced to score his 23 Test tons.
Smith got to his record in 110 innings while Don Bradman required 59 innings, Sunil Gavaskar took 109 innings, Mohammad Yusuf required 122 innings whereas 123 innings were taken by Sachin Tendulkar to achieve the landmark.
Smith’s achievement is however more noteworthy considering the fact that he scored his first hundred after 22 innings. His total tally of runs in 21 innings and 11 Tests stood at 698 with an average of 33.23 and included five fifties. From then on to date Smith’s tally has reached 5,235 runs including 23 centuries and an average score of 76.93 in 49 Tests and 84 innings.