Steve Smith has likened the last four days to feeling like “Christmas morning every morning” after scoring his second century in the Edgbaston Test to put Australia in a position of dominance on Sunday, 4 August.
Smith, playing his first Test back since the 12-month ban for the ball-tampering incident last year, has laid down a marker for the series with his performance in Birmingham. He scored an important 144 in the first innings – when the rest of the batting collapsed – and a 207-ball 142 in the second to assert Australia’s control.
“It's extremely special," Smith told Test Match Special. "I've never scored a 100 in both innings in any form of cricket in my life. To do it my first game back, in an Ashes Test, knowing how important the first Test is, I'm pleased. We're in a great position now. Hopefully, we can make use of that on Monday.
“I love Test cricket, and I love playing against England. I’ve loved these last four days. It’s felt like Christmas morning every morning.”
The Edgbaston crowd had made it a point to boo Smith, along with David Warner and Cameron Bancroft, for their part in the ball-tampering incident last year, but over the course of the Test, Smith has managed to turn those boos into applause.
"It seemed as though there was a lot of praise and it was nice walking off to that," said Smith. “I'm really pleased that I have been able to do what I have done."
Smith was also asked about the possibility of him getting back into a leadership role with Australia – he has been seen helping Tim Paine on the field with tactics – but Smith isn’t thinking about that at the moment. “It’s certainly not on my radar at the moment,” he said.
“Of course, I’m experienced now, and able to help in any way that I can. [Paine] knows I’m there to help him. If I see something I’ll always go to him for the betterment of the team.”
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