It was precisely a year ago from today that former Australian captain Steve Smith made his return to Test cricket. He was one of the Australian cricketers to have slapped with a year-long ban for the ball-tampering saga in South Africa in March 2018. The stage could not have been more significant as Australia took on England in the first of the five Tests of the 2019 Ashes series at the Edgbaston in Birmingham. Steve Smith took to his official Instagram account, recollecting the epic moment from that match.
The duo of David Warner and Cameron Bancroft were also featuring in their first Test since serving the ball-tampering bans imposed on them. Warner and Bancroft opened entered the ground with hostile receptions but departed without making significant scores. While Steve Smith endured the same fate while walking out to bat, he left the field with total respect.
The former Australian captain came at the fall of Bancroft and found himself at a precarious position of 122-8 on day one. Even as James Anderson left the field after bowling only four overs, Stuart Broad, Chris Woakes, and Ben Stokes inflicted misery on Australia’s batting line-up. Peter Siddle joined Smith and combined for an 88-run stand.
The 31-year old stayed till the end and reached his 24th Test hundred in the 73rd over of the day by playing a cover drive off Ben Stokes. Steve Smith’s redemption was well and truly complete as his battling and glorious ton lifted the tourists to a respectable 284, which would eventually prove as a match-winning one. Even as Smith trudged out of the ground, the boos did not dial down and he continued to impress as the series progressed.
The New South Wales lad took to his official Instagram handle and conveyed that it feels unbelievable to realise that it is one year ago since the Ashes began. He remarked that it is a day, which would remain unforgettable. Across four Tests, Steve Smith went on to score 774 runs, winning the Compton-Miller medal in the second consecutive Ashes series. He is also the number one Test batsman at present with 911 points in his bag.