23
Thursday
January 2020
5:41 PM IST
News Headlines
Home   | Main News   | Kerala  | National   | International  | Business   | Sports   | Entertainment   | Columns   | Offbeat   | Health   | About Deepika 
Sports News
Smith underlines greatness with Old Trafford double century
 
Manchester, Sept 6 (AFP) Steve Smith is on course to enjoy one of the most productive series by any batsman in Test history after he marked his return to Ashes action with a double hundred at Old Trafford.

The 30-year-old's 211 was the centrepiece of Australia's 497-8 declared on the second day of the fourth Test.

It was his third century in four innings this series following scores of 144 and 142 in the opener at Edgbaston -- Smith's first Test since completing a 12-month ball-tampering ban.

If those hundreds erased doubts about whether he would be the same stellar batsman after the traumatic events during a Test in Cape Town that led to his being stripped of the Australia captaincy and a lengthy suspension, Thursday's innings put to rest fears of any lingering ill-effects after he was concussed by a Jofra Archer bouncer.

That blow to his then unprotected neck -- he is now batting with a 'stem guard' -- during the drawn second Test at Lord's saw Smith ruled out of England's dramatic one-wicket win at Headingley that levelled this Ashes at 1-1 with two to play.

Even after retiring hurt having been felled by Archer, Smith still came back out to make 92 -- his lowest score of a series where he has now scored 589 runs at a colossal average of 147.25.

The most runs ever made by an individual in a Test series is the 974 compiled by Australia's Don Bradman, widely regarded as the format's greatest batsman, during the five matches of the 1930 Ashes in England.

Vivian Richards holds the corresponding record for four Tests, posting 829 runs during West Indies 3-0 win in England in 1976 where the 'Master Blaster' missed one fixture out of five through illness.

Both those marks may be beyond Smith.

But if Australia do retain the urn -- and they were well-placed at the close with England 23-1, a deficit of 474 -- this will undoubtedly be 'Smith's Ashes'.

Smith is regarded as the best "problem solver" in cricket today by Australia coach Justin Langer, himself a former Test batsman.



- 'Played into our hands'-

==========================

That quality, as well as his unorthodox shuffle across the crease, was evident as Smith took advantage of an unusually placid Old Trafford pitch.

"I think and visualise before I play where people are likely to bowl to me and where I am likely to score and try to picture fields that are set and play things over in my mind, where I am going to get runs and how they are looking to get me out," Smith told reporters after stumps.

"Then out in the middle you have to adapt to whatever is thrown at you." England, inevitably, after Lord's, repeatedly tested Smith out with the bouncer.

But Smith, whose career Test batting average of 64.64 is second only to Bradman's 99.94, reckoned England's quicks, with the notable exception of Stuart Broad, had over-done the short stuff.

"I said before the game that if they bowl a lot at my head then they're not bowling at my stumps and trying to get me out lbw and caught behind the wicket," he explained.

"For them to go as short as they did and as early as they did with the new-ball, softened that ball up and played into our hands."

The third double century of Smith's 67-Test career, all of which have come against England, was not chanceless.

Archer dropped a caught and bowled chance when Smith was on 65 and he had made 118 when he nicked Jack Leach to slip only to be reprieved when a third umpire review revealed the left-arm spinner had bowled a no-ball.

"When I saw the foot over the line and (umpire) Kumar (Dharmasena) called me back I thought, 'How good is this! I get to keep on batting'.

"Obviously I had some luck and I made the most of it from there."

This innings also saw Smith extend his own record with an eighth successive Ashes fifty, but he was adamant in insisting: "It's never easy.

"You're playing international cricket against some quality bowlers. I'll never say it's easy.


Fired-up Federer in ominous touch at Australian Open
Rana powers Delhi to victory in big run chase
U-19 World Cup: India outplay Japan by 10 wickets in mismatch, qualify for QF
Dhawan ruled out of NZ tour; Samson named replacement for T20s, Prithvi for ODIs
ICC ODI Rankings: Kohli, Rohit consolidate top batting positions; Bumrah leads in bowling
Manoj Tiwary''s first tipple century empowers Bengal to dictate the play against Hyderabad
Rohit, Kohli guide India to series win over Australia
Dhawan''s NZ tour in doubt after fresh shoulder injury, medical team looking at "scan reports"
Dhawan hit on rib-cage, won't take field during Australia innings: BCCI
Australian all-rounder Mitchell Marsh eyes return to national side
Mithali demoted to Grade B in BCCI central contracts
Ponkratov heads Chennai Open chess tournament field
Rishabh Pant ruled out of 2nd ODI vs Australia, to undergo rehabilitation at NCA
Gokulam Kerala thump Quess East Bengal 3-1 to rise to fourth spot
Anti-CAA protest at Wankhede Stadium
Both Dhawan and Rahul can play, I might bat lower down, indicates skipper Kohli
Punjab FC host Mohun Bagan in clash of heavyweights
Bumrah receives Polly Umrigar and Dilip Sardesai awards
Kerala Blasters FC picks up an important 1-0 win against ATK in Hero ISL
Rohit comes back, Samson dropped from T20I squad; Test, ODI teams for NZ Tour on hold
KERALA NEWS
Kerala set to get two fab labs
 Kochi: Kerala will get two new fab labs this weekend when Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan inaugurate  
Sabarimala pilgrimage season ends peacefully
Mortal remains of Keralites to bring back quickly, says Union Minister V Muraleedharan
Kerala govt will continue fight against CAA: Minister
INTERNATIONAL NEWS
Trump trial opens with clash over witnesses
 Washington: The historic impeachment trial of US President Donald Trump opened with fireworks Tuesda
Trump 'would have loved' to have met Thunberg at Davos
China''s ex-Interpol chief sentenced to over 13 years in prison for corruption
Thousands of missing persons during Lanka''s civil war are ''dead'': President Gotabaya Rajapaksa
NATIONAL NEWS
India falls to 51st position in EIU's Democracy Index
 New Delhi: India slipped 10 places to 51st position in the 2019 Democracy Index's global ranking, ac
Plea filed in Delhi HC seeking contempt proceedings against 'Chhapaak' makers
Centre moves SC seeking 7-day deadline for hanging death row convicts
Court modifies Azad''s bail order, allows him to visit Delhi for medical, election purposes
Untitled Page
Rashtra Deepika LTD
Copyright @ 2020 , Rashtra Deepika Ltd.