Steve Smith notched up his 28th Test century, on Friday in Galle versus Sri Lanka. A high-quality knock from the Australian Test vice-captian on a turning track on which he displayed a masterclass of footwork, along with Marnus Labuschangne, who raised his 7th Test ton and his first away from home.
For Steve Smith, this century will be a bit sweeter given he was in a rut in the past couple of years. After his epic comeback in the 2019 Ashes series in England, Smith had gone quiet – also compounded by only a few series after cricket resumed in the pandemic era – and this is only his second Test century in his last 32 innings.
Steve Smith joins Joe Root at 28 Test centuries
Steve Smith’s last century before this one came in January 2021 against India. He now has 28 Test tons, joining the in-form Joe Root, who scored his 28th Test century earlier this week at Edgbaston against India.
Both of them now have gone past Virat Kohli in the Test hundreds’ list – with the former India skipper sitting at 27 since November 2019!
Despite Joe Root’s prime form and Smith’s dubious one, the Australia is well ahead of the Englishman. Smith’s 28 Test ton came in his 153rd innings; he remained unbeaten on Day 1 in Galle and his overall average has now again gone over 60. Root, on the other hand, despite 11 Test tons since 2021, has his overall average little over 50 and he has taken 224 innings to 28 Test tons.
Smith, in fact, became the third fastest player after Don Bradman (72 innings) and Sachin Tendulkar (144 innings) to reach 28 Test centuries.
Most Test centuries by active players:
Steve Smith – 28 (87* matches)
Joe Root – 28 (121 matches)
Virat Kohli – 27 (102 matches)
Kane Williamson – 24 (88 matches)
David Warner – 24 (96 matches)
Meanwhile, Australia closed Day 1 at 298/5. Smith and Labushchagne conjured up a brilliant partnership of 134 runs in 223 balls followed by Smith’s small yet crucial stands with Travis Head and Alex Carey, who is also unbeaten along with Smith. Australia currently lead the series 1-0.