An emotive Steve Smith said his brilliant contribution to England’s humiliation in Australia’s first test was dreams come true after the pain of his ban on handling the ball.
Smith hit 144-runs and 142-runs when Australia beat England by 251 runs at Edgbaston to win the opening five-game Ashes series.
It is Triumph for the 30-year-old Smith, who was playing in his first Test since a 12-month ban for his role in the shocking ball-handling scandal on Australia’s South African tour.
Steve Smith said:
It feels very special; winning the first Test in England is special. It feels great, I love playing cricket again for Australia, doing what I love and contributing to victories.
When I got to the first hundred, I was thinking, don’t burst into tears. That was as special as my first hundred in 2013. It was a relief to get him out of the way. Score two hundred in a match, the first time I do it in any form of cricket in my life, it’s very special and I’m very proud.
Steve said, he didn’t dream of how I’d get back. I just let the time pass and when I took off my elbow after surgery, something clicked and I was ready to play cricket again. I lost that love for a while but I’ve done what I love again and it’s great.
Smith’s appetite for racing is such that he is compared to Australian sports icon Don Bradman, widely regarded as the best test hitter.
Bradman, in a career that spanned the years on both sides of World War II, averaged a staggering 99.94 on 52 Tests, including 29 hundred.
Smith’s career average is 62.96 in just 20 Test innings that makes him at second place on the all-time list. Don Bradman is still at the top.
And by becoming the fifth Australian to score hundreds in both innings of an Ash Test, Smith has an achievement that eluded even Bradman.
Smith, who now scored 25 hundred in 65 tests, revealed that he had lost his passion for cricket as a result of his ban and an elbow injury, but is now completely motivated again and reaping the rewards.
Smith changed the tone of the match, taking Australia to 284 in his first innings from a dangerous 122-8.