Steve Smith became only the fourth Australian batter to hit 30 Test centuries, eclipsing Don Bradman’s count of 29 in the longest format of the game. In what was his 162nd Test innings, Smith became the second quickest to reach the mark after Sachin Tendulkar (159). Smith is now level with Matthew Hayden and behind Ricky Ponting (41) and Steve Waugh (32) in the Test tons tally for Australia.
Speaking after the second day’s play against South Africa in the Sydney Test, the 33-year-old said, “I really can’t say how long I’ll play for, I’m not sure. Take it one tour at a time, enjoy it, enjoy training and trying to get better. Whilst I’m doing that I’m happy playing, but don’t know how long it will last.”
He further added, “It’s [about] trying to get better, help the team win games of cricket. Think we’ve played some really good cricket the last 12 months…we’ve got two really big hurdles in front of us with India and the Ashes. For me, it is trying to get better and trying to help some of the other batters coming through.”
We are watching a modern-day legend!
Century No.30 for Steve Smith! #PlayOfTheDay#AUSvSA | @nrmainsurance pic.twitter.com/hl5Qu5xR6F
— cricket.com.au (@cricketcomau) January 5, 2023
“It’s not going to be perfect every time,” he said. “So when you aren’t feeling as good as you’d like you just try to grind it out, get through that initial period then hopefully things get easier. I didn’t feel great my first 60-70 balls, I reckon, then things started to click and feel a lot better. Pleased I was able to get through that initial period.”
Smith, who is the vice-captain of Australia’s Test side, also spoke of his role as a mentor to the younger batters in the Test setup.
“I still try to help Marnus [Labuschagne] as much as possible, [Travis] Head, Cameron Green, Matty Renshaw, Marcus Harris…try to impart as much knowledge of conditions and ways to go about,” he said. “If I can say something and you see that lightbulb go on and someone figures something out I get a big thrill out of that. I’ll try and help them as much as I can.”
Smith was caught and bowled at the score of 104 off 192 deliveries by Keshav Maharaj. At stumps on day two, Australia were 475/4.