Australian batsmen Steve Smith said he had never lost faith in his ability which has made him beat the second hundred and made his “dream comeback” in the Ashes at Edgbaston.
Smith made 142 in Australia’s second innings 487-7 declared on Sunday after the star batsman’s 144 bailed them out to 284 following a collapse to 122-8 in their first innings. With Matthew Wade making 110 on the fourth day as well, Australia set England an imposing target of 398.
Former Australia captain Smith and then deputy David Warner were both given 12-month bans for their roles in a ball-tampering scandal last year. Along with them, Cameron Bancroft, who actually applied sandpaper to the ball during a Test against South Africa in Cape Town, was given a nine-month suspension by Cricket Australia.
However, all of the three batsmen were included in the Test match, although Smith and Warner were already into the World Cup, where Australia lost to England in the Semi-finals last month.
‘Incredibly special – I’ve never doubted my ability, But, it’s kind of a dream comeback in away. To be able to score two hundred in a match, in the first Ashes match, it’s something I have never done in any form of cricket before in my life. It’s incredibly special.” – Steve Smith told.
“It feels like Christmas morning every morning getting to come and do this.” – He added.
Australia’s specialist batsmen Wade made his first hundred in the Ashes cricket at Edgbaston. He has helped Smith adding 126 for the fifth wicket but said that the batting with him could be difficult.
“It’s daunting, to be honest. Sometimes he makes it look way too easy and it hurts. He said to me the other day at breakfast he’d never scored a hundred in both innings of a Test match. When he said that, I thought we were going to be in for something special.” – He said.
“In many ways, you have to admire it and appreciate you are watching someone who is a fantastic player.” – Batting coach Graham Thorpe said.
The leading Wicket-taker Anderson missed last week’s Test win over Ireland with a calf injury but former England batsman Thorpe defended the decision to bring him back for this match.
“A guy who has played as many Test matches as he has, we have to trust his view,” – Thorpe added.
England will resume Monday on 13-0, with Rory Burns, fresh from his maiden Test century in the first innings, and Jason Roy at the crease.
“We have got the character and the challenge is ahead of our guys tomorrow, It will not be easy but this is Test cricket.” – he said.