Champion Australian batsman Steve Smith hit back at his critics after he shrugged off his string of poor scores in the ongoing Test series against India with a classy hundred in the first innings of the Sydney Test.
Smith had come into the game on the back of horrendous form as he registered four consecutive single-digit scores, including a duck in the first innings of the Boxing Day Test.
Smith looked determined to shrug off his lean patch right from the outset as he smashed five boundaries in his first 25 deliveries.
The Australian looked near impregnable throughout his knock and even though wickets continued to fall at the other end, he went along his merry way to compile his 27th Test ton and his 8th against India.
Ultimately, it took a freakish direct-hit by Ravindra Jadeja to bring an end to his knock but by then Steve Smith had successfully shut down his critics, who had questioned his technique following his failures in Adelaide and Melbourne.
Smith hit back at his detractors, claiming that he wasn’t out of form and was only short of runs.
“I’m reading lots of things people say about out of form, but think there’s a difference between out of form and out of runs so it was just nice to score a few and maybe keep a few people quiet,” Steve Smith said.
Meanwhile, Indian bowlers came back brilliantly on day 02 as they claimed the eight Australian wickets for a mere 132 runs. Ravindra Jadeja and Jasprit Bumrah were the wrecker-in-chief as they shared six wickets between them to ensure that the home side was knocked over for 338 despite a 91 from Marnus Labuschagne and 113 by Steve Smith.
In response, India started brilliantly as Rohit Sharma and Shubman Gill, who scored his maiden Test 50, accumulated 70 for the first wicket before Australia stormed back with back-to-back dismissals courtesy Jos Hazlewood and Pat Cummins.