Steve Smith once again proved why he is the No.1 Test batsman in the ICC Rankings ahead of India skipper Virat Kohli. On a pitch that raised eyebrows from the very first day of the opening Test between India and Australia in Pune, Smith produced a batting master class in the second innings, albeit with a touch of fortune, to smash his 18th Test century, 10th as captain and his first century in India. The Australian skipper's stunning century helped the visitors post a 441-run target for India on Day 3.
Smith averages 73.37 after 21 Tests as captain of the Australian cricket team. He now only behind Don Bradman to have the second best batting average of any captain who has led their team at least 10 times. Bradman averaged 101.51 across 24 Tests.
That ?? from @stevesmith49 has to go down as one of the greatest of all time ... not many people have scored tons on a beach against Ashwin !— Michael Vaughan (@MichaelVaughan) February 25, 2017
Calling the Steve Smith hundred the best I have ever seen— Ed Cowan (@eddiecowan) February 25, 2017
Kohli is only two spots behind, with an average of 65.36 after 24 Tests of the Indian team. Besides Bradman and Smith, the Sri Lankan duo of Kumar Sangakkara (69.60 in 15 Tests) and Mahela Jayawardene (59.11 in 38 Tests) are ahead of India's run-machine.
Smith's Indian love-affair
This might have been Smith's first Test century in India, but the Australian captain seems to have taken liking to the Indian bowling attack. In his seventh Test against the sub-continental giants, the 27-year-old passed his 1000th run against India.
He is the 11th Australian batsman to complete 1000 runs against India in Test cricket. Smith reached the milestone in his seventh Test, making him the joint fastest along with former opener Matthew Hayden.
Overall, Smith is the fourth fastest batsman to complete 1000 runs against India.
Smith also became the first player to ever score hundreds in five consecutive Tests against India.
Smith has now scored centuries in seven of the eight countries he has played in, with tons in Australia, England, India, New Zealand, South Africa, Sri Lanka and the West Indies.
United Arab Emirates is the only country where Smith has toured but failed to reach the thee-figure mark.