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STEVEN SMITH GOES PAST TENDULKAR AS ENGLAND MULL OVER ASHES HOPES

On yet another day of Aussie domination, Steve Smith led from the front by scoring his 22nd test hundred and thereby deterring England’s hopes of staging a comeback in the 3rd test of Ashes series being played at Perth, Australia. Smith also registered his career-best score of 229 and remains unbeaten. Smith continues his streak of breaking records, this time being the 3rd fastest to reach 22nd Test hundreds, in just 108 innings. Tendulkar had taken 114 innings to reach 22 tons. Smith is behind only to Don Bradman’s 58 and Sunil Gavaskar’s 101.  With this innings, Smith also aggregates 1117 runs in 2017.This is the 4th successive year in which he has aggregated 1000-plus runs, 1146 runs in 2014, 1474 runs in 2015, 1079 runs in 2016 and 1117 so far in 2017. Smith has continued his golden run in test cricket and has been in his prime form this year. He will be hoping to seek revenge on England since the Aussies are still fresh from the 2015 Ashes loss. Steve Smith has also been coming of age as a captain, improving his test cricket win percentage to 51.72. He took just 138 balls to reach his hundred, his quickest, beating the 140-ball hundred against New Zealand at the same venue in 2015. Smith is now only the second Australian batsman to score a double hundred in an Ashes Test at home since 1971 after Justin Langer who scored 250 at the MCG ,back in 2002. While 2017 has indeed been career defining for the Aussie lad as a batsman, he still has a long way to go as a captain. Though Aussies won the second test in Adelaide, the decision of not enforcing the follow-on proves his situational glitch in decision making on the field. Time, conditions and form are on the positive side for the modern day cricketing legend in the reckoning and hopefully, he will beat the captaincy record of Ricky Ponting in the days to come.

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