Smith makes distinction between out of runs and out of form

Smith The Ashes

Australia batsman Steve Smith rubbished suggestions he was out of form and credited a positive attitude for helping him battle to a century against India in Sydney on Friday.

Smith reached three figures in a Test for the first time since 2019, smacking 131 for his 27th ton to help steer Australia to a first innings 338 all out. He became the second-fastest man to notch 27 Test tons after Sir Donald Bradman.

Smith shuts up his critics

Smith found a way to get back into the runs after failing to reach double figures in the opening two Tests, which sparked a flurry of concern about his form among pundits, the media and fans

The 31-year-old said he was never worried, pointing out that he hit pulsating back-to-back centuries in the limited-overs series against India late last year.

“I read a lot of things and plenty of people said I was out of form so it was nice to come back into form, if that’s what you want to call it,” he said.

“I mean, it was only about three or four weeks ago that I scored two hundreds at the Sydney Cricket Ground. So yeah, it kind of just makes me laugh sometimes when people say that kind of thing.

“I missed out in the first two Tests obviously and came back today and scored some runs and helped I guess put us in a decent position.”

Smith has struggled against the spin of Ravi Ashwin in this series and admitted he made some adjustments to his game, which helped him build his near-flawless score.

The former Australia skipper was faster on his feet and came down the wicket more, but he said it was a change in attitude that made the biggest difference.

“I decided to be a bit more positive. I think early on I hit him (Ashwin) over his head, sort of just put a bit of pressure on him,” he said. 

“So, yeah, it was a concerted effort to do that and I was happy with the way I played him.”

Smith, who averages more than 60, faced 226 balls and hit 16 boundaries in his patient knock, surviving only an ambitious lbw review on 41.

The knock was his first century in Australia for more than three years, including a spell on the sidelines thanks to his one-year ban for his role in a ball-tampering plot, and was all the sweeter for the fact that it came in Sydney, Smith’s home ground.

“It’s always special, I love playing here at the SCG, it’s a great place to bat,” he said. 

“It’s my home ground and my mum and dad were here, so they were able to see that.

“I’m just proud to get three figures on the board and spend some time out in the middle and help us post a decent score.”